Trump Meets Argentina’s President at the G20 Summit

November 30, 2018 Updated: December 3, 2018

BUENOS AIRES—The leaders of the world’s biggest economies have gathered in Argentina for the 13th Group of Twenty (G-20) leaders summit. Argentina’s President Mauricio Macri welcomed President Donald Trump Friday morning at the Casa Rosada presidential house in Buenos Aires.

Before his bilateral breakfast with Macri, Trump told reporters that both leaders would discuss trade and military purchases.

“We’ve known each other a long time,” Trump said.  “We’re going to be talking about lots of good things for Argentina, for the United States, including trade, including military purchases, and other things.  But we have a lot to talk about.”

Trump noted that he worked with President Macri’s father in the past as a businessman.

“I’ve been friends with Mauricio for a long time,” said Trump. “People wouldn’t know that.  He was a very young man, very handsome man.”

Trump also praised Macri’s leadership, saying that he has done “an excellent job.”

“We took 30 years, Donald, to convince you to come down,” said Macri. “I had to wait for you to become President and for the G-20 to be held here to get you to come.”

Macri also thanked Trump for his support in Argentina’s current IMF deal.

“We’ve been going through some difficult times, and your support, and your support for the deal with the IMF, has helped us build a better future and start taking steps in that direction.”

The G-20 summit will be held on Nov. 30 and Dec. 1. The agenda of the summit will center on global economic growth, financial stability, and reform of global financial architecture. Argentina, like all hosts, has also outlined its own themes for the summit for this year on a range of issues such as the future of work, infrastructure and making infrastructure an asset class for private investments, and creating a sustainable food future.

The bilaterals, however, are expected to take the center stage at this summit. Trump will hold bilateral meetings with Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany, and Chinese leader Xi Jinping.

Trump canceled a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin that was scheduled to take place on Saturday, citing Russia’s ongoing detention of Ukrainian ships and sailors.

The G-20 countries represent 85 percent of the global gross domestic product, two-thirds of the world’s population, and 75 percent of international trade.

It has been a difficult year for President Macri, as his country has been plagued by economic problems recently. Rising interest rates in advanced economies and trade tensions have increased pressures on emerging markets recently.

Argentina has been preparing for this summit for almost two years. And Macri, the president of the summit, would like to play a personal role in ending the ongoing trade dispute between the United States and China.

Trump and Xi face a critical juncture at this week’s summit in Buenos Aires. Both leaders are scheduled to meet for dinner on Saturday.

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