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G20: Here are the Highlights from this Morning’s Macri-Trump Meeting

The heads of state had a working breakfast at the Casa Rosada.

By | [email protected] | November 30, 2018 1:17pm

ARGENTINA-G20-SUMMITUS President Donald Trump (L) is welcomed by Argentina's President Mauricio Macri at Costa Salguero in Buenos Aires during the G20 Leaders' Summit, on November 30, 2018. - G20 powers open two days of summit talks on Friday after a stormy buildup dominated by tensions with Russia and US President Donald Trump's combative stance on trade and climate fears. (Photo by Alexander NEMENOV / AFP)

President Mauricio Macri hosted his American counterpart, Donald Trump, for a working breakfast at the Casa Rosada this morning. According to the Foreign Ministry, the conversation centered on prospective investment in Argentina, bilateral trade and the situation in Venezuela.

Though the meeting only lasted 45 minutes, Trump still managed to arrive late, apparently because he was tweeting.

But that’s another story. Here are some highlights from their meeting.

A Frustrated Trump Ditched His Earpiece

Prior to the meeting, Macri and Trump offered brief remarks to the press. Trump seemed to experience technical difficulties with his translation earpiece, and cast it to the floor, saying “I think I understood you better in your language than I did on this. But that’s OK.” An aid scurried by and swept up the spurned device.

While trivial, Trump has something of a history with earpiece difficulty, having missed a chunk of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s remarks at the White House in February 2017.

A Portrait of the President as a Young Man

Trump reminded the press that he and the President’s father, Franco Macri, had conducted business together in the 1980s, stating “I have been friends with Mauricio for a long time.” Trump went on to compliment Macri’s (formerly) ravishing good looks: “’People wouldn’t know that he was a very young man, a very handsome man.”

The cameras were unable to catch Macri blushing, but the motherly comment clearly put a smile on his face.

Macri, on his end, thanked Trump for the “enormous support received, especially in this past year, in which we have been going through difficult times.” Macri highlighted US support in gaining approval for Argentina’s two stand-by agreements with the International Monetary Fund.

Working Breakfast

According to the Argentine government, the closed-door conversation included talks on investment in Vaca Muerta — according to reports, Macri encouraged Trump to push for more US investment in the oil-rich region — bilateral trade, military purchases and the “situation in Venezuela.” In a press conference held at the International Media Center following the meeting, Argentine Foreign Minister Jorge Faurie expanded on the issue, saying both heads of state “coincided on the fact that there is a sustained lack of democracy in the country.”

The government provided a list of projects discussed, including: a public-private partnership deal for the construction of a highway connecting Buenos Aires to Mendoza, energy project investment in Santa Cruz and San Juan and a wind farm in Patagonia.

Also present at Macri’s meeting with Trump were Faurie, Cabinet Chief Marcos Peña, Presidential Spokesperson Iván Pavlovsky, Treasury and Finance Minister Nicolás Dujovne, presidential aid Fulvio Pompeo, Security Minister Patricia Bullrich, and Argentine Ambassador to the US Fernando Oris de Roa.

Trump was joined by Chief of Staff John Kelly, National Security Advisor John Bolton, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, Economic Advisor Larry Kudlow and US Ambassador to Argentina Edward Prado.