BUENOS AIRES – United States President Donald Trump arrived in Buenos Aires late Thursday to attend the G20 leaders’ summit, his first visit to Latin America since he came to power almost two years ago.
Trump landed at 22:14 on Thursday (0314 GMT Friday) at Ministro Pistarini International Airport in Buenos Aires and about 10 minutes later the president and his wife Melania walked down the stairs of Air Force One.
He was received by Argentine Foreign Minister Jorge Faurie, the President of the Chamber of Deputies Emilio Monzo and the provisional president of the Senate Federico Pinedo.
The president was accompanied, in addition to the first lady, by his daughter and advisor, Ivanka Trump, and his son-in-law and advisor, Jared Kushner, as well as by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and the White House Chief of Staff John Kelly, among others.
Trump will remain in Buenos Aires until Saturday night, leaving after a working dinner with Chinese President Xi Jinping, in which both could reach an agreement to stop the trade war between the United States and China.
“We are very close to doing something with China, but I don’t know that I want to do it,” Trump said on Thursday before leaving the White House.
“I really don’t know, but I will tell you that I think China wants to make a deal,” he said. “I’m open to making a deal, but frankly, I like the deal we have right now.”
Trump will also meet with Argentine President Mauricio Macri on Friday and is expected to participate in the signing of the new trade agreement between the US, Mexico, and Canada, known as T-MEC.
Other leaders with whom he will speak in bilateral meetings include German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, as well as South Korean President Moon Jae-in and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
The president on Thursday canceled the meeting he had scheduled to hold on Saturday with his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, due to the seizure of Ukrainian ships by Moscow in the Black Sea.
Although this is not his first visit to Latin America, the continent has been left on the back burner of Trump’s agenda and he is not expected to devote special attention to the region, especially after he canceled a stop he had scheduled to make on Sunday in Colombia.
This is the first time that the group of the 20 most developed and emerging economies in the world has brought together the leaders in South America, and Argentina wants to reach agreements on the future of work, infrastructure for development and a future for sustainable food.