GFM Network News


Dittmer: Ratifying the new NAFTA deal

Free Market Reflections with Steve Dittmer

With all the hoopla over the U.S.-China negotiations, the ratification of the re-done NAFTA trade deal (USMCA-CUSMA) hasn’t been in the news much. But its passage is critical to all three nations involved. The issue has shifted from the diplomats and negotiators to the politicians. That’s sad and bad. In the U.S., the treaty is […] Read more

The prospect of a China-U.S. trade deal continues to hold major potential.

U.S. on the cusp of a China trade deal

Free Market Reflections with Steve Dittmer

Despite not meeting the end of March deadline originally set in the President Xi Jinping-President Trump meeting, the trade negotiations between China and the U.S. moved along at a relatively rapid clip in March and April. The revised goal was to have an agreement ready for the leaders to sign by late April-early May. Rather […] Read more


As data technologies advance, nutrition professionals have suggested the research process that determines dietary guidelines be updated.

Improving your government’s nutrition advice

Free Market Reflections with Steve Dittmer

Seems I’m always apologizing for something from down here that migrates north and causes trouble. This time, though, I’d like to shed some light on how to fix things, in case you’d like suggestions to add to your own ideas. I’m referring to our influence on your Canada’s Food Guide. First, a little history you […] Read more



A renegotiated NAFTA was supposed to bring an end to steel and aluminum tariffs on member countries. So why are they still in place?

Enough is enough on tariffs

Free Market Reflections with Steve Dittmer

I’m not sure what’s happening in Canada but in the States, the steel and aluminum tariffs the U.S. put on Canada are not being mentioned at all. A search of the media stories does not show anything much up in Canada either. How can it be that something that important between two neighbours is escaping […] Read more

Canada's Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland, shown here at a Nov. 1, 2018 press conference, considers the steel and aluminum tariffs the Trump administration imposed against Canada illegal.

USMCA frictions continue

Free Market Reflections with Steve Dittmer

After months of negotiation, it looked like maybe it would get easier. Yes, getting the USMCA through national legislatures would be difficult and the steel and aluminum tariffs and the retaliatory tariffs were still in place. But negotiations on steel and aluminum tariffs were ongoing and intense, we were told. Yet up until the night […] Read more


Unfinished business

Free Market Reflections with Steve Dittmer

I had a discussion recently with a trade expert from the Canadian Consulate in Denver. The occasion was a celebration of the conclusion of the USMCA. Our discussion revolved around getting rid of the steel and aluminum tariffs the U.S. had put on Canadian and Mexican exports of those products. That is the key to […] Read more

La bendición

Straight from the hip with Brenda Schoepp

There is a little sign in the garden of my friend Gabriel in Cuba. It reads “La bendición” or translated — the blessing. I met Gabriel while training in permaculture food production in Cuba. We seemed to know each other from a past life and were immediately close friends. His beautiful family radiates their love […] Read more


Resurrection of GIPSA Rule a bad idea

Free Market Reflections with Steve Dittmer

I’m sure you all are tired of bad ideas from south of the border. So I’m sad to report that one of our fringe groups down here has partially resurrected one of the most self-destructive ideas to ever come out of government, in collusion with attorneys and livestock industry malcontents. Those of you with memory […] Read more

What business models should we expect from the supply chain to assure the reduction of waste and beef packaging?

75 million cows missing

Straight from the hip with Brenda Schoepp

Food waste is real and as global trade increases, so does the waste. The relationship between food waste and trade is complicated. Food rots because of transportation or infrastructure issues and is the victim of corrupt governments. It is taken by war lords and destroyed by tribal enemies. It is tossed from ships or held […] Read more