Palin, the former Republican vice presidential nominee, said she and Trump shared similar ideas for improving the U.S. economy, while Trump called Palin a "terrific woman and a terrific friend"st whom he hoped would seek the GOP presidential nomination.
The meeting, part political parley and part reality TV show, capped the third day of Palin's bus trip through historic sites along the East Coast. Palin has said she is considering joining the field of Republican candidates vying to challenge President Barack Obama next year.
Earlier, Palin, her husband, Todd, and several family members toured sites in Pennsylvania, including the Gettysburg Civil War battlefield and Philadelphia's Independence Hall.
Trump, the multimillionaire host of Celebrity Apprentice who mused about a presidential bid himself before dropping out of the running earlier this month, made headlines painting the U.S. as a country in decline. He criticized China for unfair trade practices and said the U.S. under Obama had become a "laughing stock" to the rest of the world.
Palin apparently heeded those words, saying she and Trump shared a similar world view.
"What do we have in common? Our love for this country, a desire to see our economy put back on the right track," Palin told reporters after a 15-minute meeting with Trump outside the Trump Tower, where he owns a three-floor penthouse.
"To have a balanced trade arrangement with other countries across this world so Americans can have our jobs, our industries, our manufacturing again. And exploiting responsibly our natural resources. We can do that again if we make good decisions," Palin said.
Trump demurred when asked if he would support a Palin presidential candidacy.
"She didn't ask me for that. She came up as friends," Trump said. "She's a great woman, a terrific woman and a terrific friend. I'd love her to run."
Palin added, "We both agree that competition is good and the more folks in that primary, the better."
After the meeting, Trump and his wife, Melania, rode in a stretch limousine with Palin, her parents and youngest daughter Piper to have dinner at a pizza restaurant in Times Square. The Palins planned to visit Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty Wednesday morning.