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What We’re Watching: Three Amigos reunion, Taliban are broke

The "Three Amigos" at the White House. On Thursday, Joe Biden will host the first US-Mexico-Canada summit since 2016, when Donald Trump scrapped the regular "Three Amigos" gathering, as it's known. This year the trilateral summit will focus on deepening economic cooperation among the three members of NAF— sorry, the "USMCA" free trade area. But expect Biden to get an earful from Canadian PM Justin Trudeau and Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador about the "Buy American" aspects of his Build Back Better agenda, which could hurt Canadian and Mexican exporters. In particular, the Canadians and Mexicans are worried about Biden's plan to give tax credits to US-made electric vehicles. It's another example of how green policies can often raise red flags about protectionism as countries vie for leadership in climate-friendly technologies. We'll be watching to see how the three leaders iron out their differences, and also whether Steve, Chevy, and Martin show up for laughs.

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Do the Taliban even need US recognition?

Back in August, when the Taliban took over, we asked whether anyone in the international community would recognize them. Now it looks like things are heading that way.

This week, the Kremlin hosted a summit with the Taliban that was attended by China, India and Pakistan, as well as all five Central Asian Republics.

The domestically-focused US, however, wasn't there. The US continues to maintain that the Taliban can't be trusted. But does it matter? In 2021 does a Taliban-led government even need American recognition to function and thrive?

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Taliban, Afghan people face economic collapse, says former central bank chief

With Afghanistan's US-held assets and most foreign aid frozen, the currency in freefall, bank cash withdrawals limited and food prices surging, former Afghan central bank chief Ajmal Ahmady says the Taliban could soon run out of money to run the country. When that happens, they'll have to cut services, so "the Afghan people are undeniably going to be hurt."

Watch his interview with Ian Bremmer on a new episode of GZERO World, airing on US public television starting Friday, September 3. Check local listings.

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