BUENOS AIRES – Argentine President Mauricio Macri spoke Friday with his US counterpart Donald Trump about trade matters and economic growth, relations with China and the situation in Venezuela, official sources said.
“We talked about the concerns we have in the region, particularly over Venezuela, with the two presidents discussing the difficult fact that Venezuela is no longer a democratic country,” Argentine Foreign Minister Jorge Faurie said at the International Media Center of the G20, for whose annual summit Trump arrived in Buenos Aires this Thursday.
Faurie said the two presidents, in a bilateral meeting at the Casa Rosada presidential residence, discussed “important issues of international affairs,” many of which will be “taken up again as the G20 program develops,” but offered no further details.
“It was a conversation of some 50 minutes in an extremely cordial atmosphere, where the two basically talked about bilateral relations between Argentina and the US,” the minister said, recalling that both leaders have known each other as businessmen since at least the 1980s when Trump bought property in Manhattan from Macri’s father.
Trump highlighted his personal friendship with Macri and said he thought neither would have believed that they would one day become presidents of their respective countries.
For her part, White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders noted on Twitter the two presidents’ “great discussion on trade, China, economic growth and Venezuela.”
The rest of their talk was about bilateral relations, such as trade matters and the access of Argentine products to the United States and US products to Argentina.
“With your support and the agreement you facilitated with the IMF, we have begun to build a path towards a better future,” Macri told Trump.
Argentina struck a deal with the International Monetary Fund for a $50 billion standby loan in June as the peso plummeted against the dollar as investors became nervous over a widening deficit and soaring inflation.
“Trump showed strong support for the reforms Macri is imposing, and recognized the difficult starting point Argentina must deal with in order to normalize its macroeconomic variables after so many years of mismanagement,” observed Finance Minister Nicolas Dujovne.
Energy investments were also on the table, particularly with regard to the reserves available in the vast deposits of tight oil and shale gas at Vaca Muerta in Patagonia, where there is a large participation of US companies.
Also addressed was US-Argentine cooperation in the war on drugs.