World leaders are set to meet in Buenos Aires today for the latest G20 Summit - the first time the forum has met in South America.
The two leaders are expected to seek a resolution to a trade dispute between their countries that has shaken financial markets and threatened the global economy.
"I think we are very close to doing something with China but I don't know that I want to do it", Trump told reporters at the White House before departing for Buenos Aires.
Modi will make a pitch to countries who are not within the Tropic of Cancer and Capricorn to join the International Solar Alliance.
Markets are hoping a deal can be reached before the end of the year, when US duty rates are due to increase significantly.
When is the G20 Summit?
"The last summits have been somewhat disappointing and marked by contention, particularly over trade-related issues".
"I look forward to a meaningful Summit again as soon as this situation is resolved!" Trump's "America First" stance has already upended other recent world summits such as the G7 and the Asia-Pacific bloc APEC. But given the dysfunction at those other summits, the G20 leaders are expected to stop short of repeating their vows to fight protectionism, which were a founding principle in 2008.
Mr Macron also called for global involvement and "complete clarity" in investigations into the killing of dissident Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, and said European leaders should discuss it at a meeting Friday.
"The only deal that would really be acceptable to me, other than obviously we have to do something on the theft of intellectual property rights, the only deal would be China has to open up their country to competition from the United States", he said.
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China now imposes a 40 percent tariff on US automobiles, while the United States has a 27.5 percent tariff on Chinese vehicles.
Modi will also meet UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, Argentinian President Mauricio Macri, Chilean President Sebastian Pinera, along with the prime ministers of Spain, Jamaica, the Netherlands and the president of the European Union and the European Council. That bilateral has taken on new urgency after Russian vessels seized three Ukrainian ships near Crimea at the weekend, igniting a storm of protest in Europe.
"I'm not happy with the Fed", Trump told the Washington Post earlier this week. "That will be very determinative". "Maybe I won't even have the meeting".
China claims nearly all of the South China Sea. "What's happening in the Sea of Azov is serious", said Francois Heisbourg, special adviser at the Foundation for Strategic Research in Paris.
Trump departs Thursday for the Group of 20 summit in Argentina, where the homebody commander in chief will spend just 48 hours on the ground.
Higher auto tariffs on China would have a limited impact.
More cars would be assembled in the US if the same tariff were applied on imported autos, Trump said, adding in a second tweet that "G.M. would not be closing their plants in Ohio, Michigan & Maryland".
But an Argentine advertising company refused to erect the poster, Emine Dzhaparova, Ukraine's deputy information minister, said in Buenos Aires.
In the event on Thursday night, Modi said that issues such as global economy, sustainable development, climate change and economic fugitives, which are of interest to the entire global community will come up for discussion at the two-day summit that will begin on Saturday.