President Donald Trump plans to meet briefly Tuesday with the heads of three leading German automakers.

The meeting comes at a time of elevated U.S.-European trade tensions in which car exports have been a focus. Trump has threatened to slap tariffs on auto imports from Europe and other countries, citing U.S. trade deficits with those nations.

The White House says economic advisers are meeting with Volkswagen, Daimler and BMW to discuss investment opportunities in the U.S., including in manufacturing and research and development.

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders says Trump will meet briefly with the auto executives.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Monday in Berlin dismissed suggestions that the automakers could conduct trade diplomacy. Merkel stressed that trade negotiations are a responsibility for the European Union.

Source: The Associated Press