Trump counted a victory Friday for his brash trade stance as the United States, Canada and Mexico signed a new trade deal, a successor to the North American Free Trade Agreement.
He is still scheduled to join Xi, the Chinese President, for a working dinner on Saturday to hash out a possible ceasefire to the trade war that has roiled their countries and threatens to wreak havoc on the global economy if the ratcheting-up persists.
The G20 accounts for two-thirds of the world population and is widely credited with avoiding a major global calamity after the 2008 financial crisis.
The leaders of the world's top economies gathered in Argentina on Friday for talks overshadowed by a U.S.
"The spirit and rules of the WTO run counter to unilateral and protectionist measures", they said.
Beijing hopes to persuade Trump to abandon plans to increase tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese goods to 25 percent in January, from 10 percent at present.
Trump said there had been some positive signs. USA stocks closed slightly higher on Friday on market hopes that a compromise could be reached by the two leaders. Argentina's presidency voiced optimism consensus would be reached on a draft.
It marks a rising trend of discord among G20 members.
Commenting on a breakfast meeting between President Donald Trump and his Argentine counterpart and summit host Mauricio Macri, Ms. Sanders noted the two had "reiterated their shared commitment" to address "predatory Chinese economic activity", the Associated Press reported.
It was occurring more than six miles from the summit meeting.
A total of 19 world leaders including U.S. President Donald Trump, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel are attending the gathering along with European Union representatives.
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The cancellation of Friday's Putin meeting was ordered in an apparently abrupt decision aboard Air Force One as Trump flew from Washington on Thursday.
A Kremlin spokesman said Putin was ready to continue talks with Trump. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who has been sharply critical of Saudi Arabia over the incident, is also in attendance. Meanwhile, two men under heavy criticism from the West lately - Russian President Vladimir Putin and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman - appeared to seek refuge in each other, bonding with a tough-guy hand grab as the leaders sat down around a huge round table for talks.
GM did not directly comment on Trump's tweets, but reiterated that it was committed to investing in the United States.
"I think we're very close to doing something with China, but I don't know that I want to do it because what we have right now is billions and billions of dollars coming into the United States in the form of tariffs or taxes".
"Willis Sparks, director of global macro politics at Eurasia Group, said: "Just to see how leaders interact with the crown prince will be interesting - how warm they are".
A substantive deal between the United States and China could mark a major feat for the G20 summit, where expectations for collective action have been low.
Erdoğan is also expected to hold meetings with Japan's Shinzo Abe and the U.K.'s Theresa May.
French president Emmanuel Macron said: "He was a world leader, who strongly supported the alliance with Europe". Putin reportedly pulled out a pen and paper to sketch the skirmish in the meeting, Bloomberg reported.
Oil markets will also be closely watching a bilateral meeting between Putin and Crown Prince Mohammed on Saturday afternoon for any sign of a breakthrough in a deal for Russian Federation to participate in a production cut by the OPEC oil cartel next month.
What they agree on - or do not - will likely determine whether stock markets rise or fall and whether the world economy gets some relief from destabilizing trade tensions, as well as cast judgement on the wisdom of the USA leader's hard-nosed trade tactics.