GFM Network News


U.S. President Donald Trump appears with China President Xi Jinping at the G20 leaders summit on June 29, 2019.

Dittmer: Opening trade wars vs. getting the lid back on

Free Market Reflections with Steve Dittmer

Cattle producers have historically fretted at being regulated and taxed by politicians in some distant capitol. I believe Canadian cattle producers agree. Down here in the States, we sometimes ponder giving up on draining the swamp and just adding lots more water. But Canadians actually get a double dose. You not only have to deal with Ottawa […] Read more

The trade picture between the U.S. and China has ‘more twists and turns than a cow’s G.I. tract.’ – Steve Dittmer.

The trade and politics stampede

Free Market Reflections with Steve Dittmer

This trade circus reminds me of the chuckwagon races at the Calgary Stampede. The U.S. and China keep going round and round and ending up at the same place. President Trump threatens more tariffs and then like the outrider in the chucks, he closes in the last few yards from the finish and pulls them back […] Read more


Palace intrigue affects pigs and cows

Free Market Reflections with Steve Dittmer

It would seem a long way from the ancient halls of China’s government in Beijing to hog producers or ranchers and feeders in Canada. But such are the vagaries of global trade. I thought the U.S. trade situation was leaning towards the crazy. Now Canada has almost inadvertently become embroiled in something akin to a James […] Read more

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