The divisions among the world's leading economies were evident from the moment Argentina's president opened the summit Friday with a call for worldwide cooperation to solve the planet's problems.
It was unlikely that the two countries would reach a full-blown resolution in Buenos Aires; the issues that divide them are just too hard.
Before sitting down for dinner with Xi, Mr Trump said Air Force One will be sent to Houston to retrieve the casket of President HW Bush, who died Saturday, and bring it to Washington.
He said: "The relationship is very special". He had just finished lauding the "robust" relationship between the US and Japan, particularly in their trade cooperation.
He also warned that France would refuse to move forward on a trade accord with South America's Mercosur bloc if Brazil's incoming far-right president, Jair Bolsonaro, pulls out of the Paris climate accord.
Yet a Chinese official struck a cautiously optimistic tone a day before the dinner, saying that that the two sides were finding more common ground in their discussions.
On Friday, a USA official said progress was being made on the joint statement and the White House was "optimistic" about the document as a whole.
"We ratify the concern of everyone over climate change".
Kirill Dmitriev, the chief of Russia's sovereign wealth fund, told reporters that Putin would meet the prince Saturday and discuss boosting Saudi Arabia's $2 billion investment in Russian Federation.
However, delegates to the Buenos Aires talks said good progress had been made on economic sections of the final communique overnight.
On climate, the statement notes a recent United Nations report that warned damage from global warming will be much worse than previously feared, and expresses support for an upcoming United Nations climate meeting in Poland meant to nail down how countries will meet promises made in the Paris accord.
The G20 summit has taken place every year for the past 10 years, to discuss world affairs.
The summit is meant to focus on issues such as labor, infrastructure, development, financial stability, climate sustainability and worldwide commerce.
The U.S. leader was coy on Friday even as he noted some positive signs. -China trade dispute to the Russia-Ukraine conflict.
But the two will not sit down together after Trump abruptly cancelled a planned meeting, citing Russia's recent seizure of Ukrainian ships and sailors.
Also looming large amid dozens of bilateral meetings in Buenos Aires was the gruesome killing of dissident Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Saudi Arabia's Istanbul consulate, and the participation at the summit of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who is alleged to have ordered the murder. According to Reuters, audio caught bin Salman telling Macron not to worry to which Macron replied, "I am anxious".
Japanese-made passenger vehicles imported to the USA totaled an estimated $40 billion in 2017 and German-made cars totaled $20 billion in the same year.
It is to be bin Salman's first significant appearance overseas since the killing. Speaking to reporters alongside German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Trump said that he was hoping to talk about trade.
Mr Trump called the pact a "model agreement that changes the trade landscape forever".
Ms O'Neil said she anticipates that to be "quite smooth" in Mexico and Canada, but passage could be more complicated in the United States after midterm elections flipped the House of Representatives, meaning the next speaker could be Democratic Representative Nancy Pelosi.
This year's summit has proved to be a major test for the G20, whose leaders first met in 2008 to help rescue the global economy from the worst financial crisis in seven decades.
Chinese President Xi Jinping (L) meets with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin, in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Nov. 30, 2018.
But she will miss the summit's opening after her plane was forced to make an emergency landing in Cologne due to a technical problem.
On Thursday, he met Buenos Aires Mayor Horaci Rodriguez Larreta and welcomed the growing ties between Singapore and the Argentinian capital. The two countries went to war over the South Atlantic archipelago in 1982.