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Remarks Prior to a Meeting With President Mauricio Macri of Argentina in Buenos Aires, Argentina

November 30, 2018

President Macri. Good morning. Good morning, everyone. I would like to welcome President Donald Trump to Argentina on his first visit to Latin America and his first time in Argentina, of course. Just now we were coming up the stairs, and I told him, "We took 30 years, Donald, to convince you to come down," because I invited you over 30 years to visit our city and beautiful country. So I had to wait for you to become President and for the G-20 to be held here to get you to come.

But we Argentines are really happy to have you here. And it's a great opportunity to thank you: to thank you for the huge support we have received from the United States and from your Government, especially during this past year. 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.

We'd also like to thank you for all of the work we're doing together in such fields as education and defense and especially with regard to domestic security—the fight against organized crime and drug trafficking—true enemies of our citizens. And the work we are doing together is certainly making a lot of headway. We see a lot of progress, which we hope will continue for the rest of our terms in office.

And let me also tell you that Argentina's leading investors are U.S. companies. And we hope they will continue to invest in Argentina and that they will bet on Argentine talent and that they will help us build quality jobs.

Also tourism is very important. We are getting more and more citizens from around the world, but the country that is exporting most tourists to Argentina is the United States, which I think shows the affection from the Argentine people to—for Argentina and the interest in our country.

So thank you very much for visiting us. We'll be having a meeting, and I'm sure we'll find a whole lot more ways to work together and cooperate for the benefit of our people and the people of the United States.

Thank you, Donald, for being here.

President Trump. I think I understood you better in your language than I did on this. But that's okay.

I want to just say that I've been friends with Mauricio for a long time, many years. People wouldn't know that. He was a very young man, very handsome man. [Laughter] And we knew each other very well. And I actually did business with his family, with his father. Great father. He was a friend a mine. And I purchased the West Side railroad yards, and it was a great job, a successful job. A very big job, one of the largest jobs in Manhattan. That was in my civilian days. And so I always had fond memories.

Little did I know that his son would become el Presidente—a little bit out of the box—you were going to be. And little did you realize that I was going to become President. So we've known each other a long while. 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: a little bit of old times; about 95 percent business, I would say.

But this is a great honor to be with you. You are my friend, long time. Great family. And you're doing a fantastic job, and I want to congratulate you.

Thank you.

NOTE: The President spoke at approximately 7:30 a.m. at the Casa Rosada. In his remarks, he referred to Franco Macri, father of President Macri. President Macri spoke in Spanish, and his remarks were translated by an interpreter.

Donald J. Trump, Remarks Prior to a Meeting With President Mauricio Macri of Argentina in Buenos Aires, Argentina Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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