Editor's note: An earlier version of this story omitted the given name of Bernhard Mattes, president of the American Chamber of Commerce in Germany.
President Donald Trump said Friday he expected the United States to do "fantastically well" in trade talks with Germany, while German Chancellor Angela Merkel said she hoped the United States and the European Union could resume discussions on a trade agreement.
Trump said he did not believe in isolationism but that trade policy should be fairer.
"We held a conversation where we were trying to address also those areas where we disagree, but we tried to bring people together ... (and) tried to find a compromise that is good for both sides," Merkel said at joint press conference with Trump after the two leaders met at the White House.
Germany's $54 billion trade surplus with the U.S. has been a source of tension between Washington and Berlin.
BMW CEO Harald Krueger and two other German CEOs joined Merkel in her White House meeting with Trump amid rising tensions on trade issues.
The meeting, which had been scheduled for Tuesday, was postponed because of a snowstorm.
Faced with Trump's "America First" policy and threats to impose tariffs on imported goods, Krueger and the heads of auto supplier Schaeffler and industrial giant Siemens stressed how many U.S. jobs are tied to "Deutschland AG."
BMW's South Carolina plant is its largest factory in the world. The carmaker is expanding the plant to have the capacity to build 450,000 vehicles annually, with 70 percent for export.
"We have a joint interest in ensuring that the global conditions for continued growth and investment are maintained," Krueger said in a statement after the meeting. "With 'Made by BMW in the USA' we will continue to contribute to the ongoing economic success of the USA. Plant Spartanburg, our largest manufacturing facility in the world, is a great example of this."
Trump has warned that the U.S. will impose a border tax of 35 percent on cars that BMW plans to build at a new plant in Mexico and export to the U.S. market. BMW expects to invest $2.2 billion in Mexico by 2019. Mexico's lower labor costs and unique free trade position mean it now accounts for a fifth of all vehicle production in North America.