Donald Trump in Latin America for the first time
The G20 summit in Buenos Aires will be President Donald Trump's first stage in international politics in Latin American territory. Trump will face his counterparts in the region for the first time in an attempt to rescue his failed international policy.
Donald Trump finally dared to go beyond the border as president of the United States.
It’s the first time that the U.S. president will take his "America First" campaign to Latin America amid a hastened international scene, where the trade war with China and the support of the Saudi prince are just some of the protagonists.
The G20 (or Group of Twenty), is an annual summit that brings together the governments of Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, the European Union, India, Indonesia, Japan, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, Turkey, and the United States.
Since 1999, the forum promotes the discussion of international policies on financial stability, which makes this edition a key session.
In the midst of an internal political crisis, Donald Trump will have to face another of his less preferred scenarios: his counterparts, whom he frequently prefers to attack through Twitter.
During his administration, Trump has made his name in the international community for his improvised participation in global meetings, making clear his scant experience in diplomacy.
However, if you follow his agenda closely, there is much that can be guessed before this meeting.
His first official trip as U.S. president was to Saudi Arabia, where he signed a multimillion-dollar deal for arms sales, and where he secured his participation in the civil war of the Arab country in Yemen.
After the assassination of journalist Jamal Khashoggi by Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) was confirmed, Trump did not give in to pressure from the international community and reiterated his support for the ruler.
In Argentina, MBS will be seen as the black sheep during the weekend, and everyone will closely observe the reaction of President Trump, who has shown a natural sympathy for leaders of that caliber.
Also, while at home the special lawyer Robert Mueller's investigation puts the focus on his name, many anticipated a private meeting that Trump was supposed to have with Russian President Vladimir Putin. However, the U.S. president's team decided to cancel the meeting, assuring it was retaliation for the latest Russian attacks against Ukraine.
To prevent the president’s old tricks, his team has organized an agenda full of personal meetings with other presidents, thus ruling out the possibility of the international rejection that Trump generates when group meetings are evident.
As CNN recalls, "In the two summits of the G7 and one of the G20, Trump has sometimes seemed ill-tempered with the most important allies in the United States. In the commemoration of the World War I Armistice in Paris earlier this month, Trump walked the ceremony alone, even as other leaders came together to walk together."
Among the scheduled meetings, one of the most important is with Chinese President Xi Jinping, with whom Trump has unleashed an escalating trade war with tariffs.
According to the BBC, the working dinner between the two presidents is fundamental for the whole world, since everyone hopes they’ll reach an agreement to stop the economic confrontation.
Just days before the summit, Trump threatened to increase the tariffs imposed on Chinese imports (up to $200bn) by 10 to 25% during 2019.
"A rise in those tariffs would see many multinational firms accelerate their plans to move supply chains away from China, while tariffs on additional Chinese imports would pose a significant political and economic risk for Trump," said Michael Hirson, Asia director in Eurasia Group to the BBC.
“Remaining U.S. imports from China are more heavily tilted towards consumer items. American households, especially those from lower income brackets, will feel the impact more than they have over tariffs on previous rounds," he added.
Finally, and despite being on Argentine soil, Trump has overlooked meeting with any Latin American leader other than the chairman of the summit, Mauricio Macri, echoing his disdain for the Hispanic community that he boasts in his country.
According to CNN, Trump and Macri have known each other for years thanks to real estate negotiations in New York, and it would be the only link that the U.S. president intends to make with Latino presidents.