BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP) — China's president on Sunday signed new trade deals with Argentina as the Asian giant expands its growing role in Latin American economies.
Presidents Mauricio Macri of Argentina and Xi Jinping of China announced the more than 30 agriculture and investment deals during a state visit following the G-20 summit of leaders in Buenos Aires.
The deals include an agreement to export Argentine cherries to China and an expansion of a currency swap.
China is among Argentina's top export markets, especially for agricultural commodities that are the engine of its economy. It is also one of Argentina's biggest lenders, financing about $18.2 billion in infrastructure and other projects, according to the Inter-American Dialogue, a Washington-based think tank.
"China's development benefits Argentina, our region and the world," Macri said during a ceremony at the presidential residence in the outskirts of the Argentine capital.
The visit comes after U.S. officials said they had reached a 90-day truce in the trade dispute with China that has rattled financial markets and imperiled global economic growth. That announcement followed a Saturday dinner meeting between Xi and President Donald Trump following the G-20.
Xi said that Argentina and China agree that the G-20 spirit should prevail and encourage multilateralism.
Xi will go on to visit Panama, which has been negotiating a free-trade deal with China after shifting its diplomatic recognition to Beijing from Taiwan last year, a move that led to complaints from U.S. officials.
Chinese companies operate ports on both ends of the Panama Canal, which for most of the 20th Century had been seen as a symbol of U.S. influence.