GFM Network News


Now that Brexit has happened, the U.K. can negotiate a trade deal with the U.S.

Dittmer: Surveying the field of international trade

Free Market Reflections with Steve Dittmer

Okay, the web says Canada is a “constitutional monarchy” with a “Westminster-style parliamentary democracy.” Exactly how do Canadians expect mere Americans to savvy all that? The question occurred to me reading that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and President Donald Trump appear to have the same respect for the rule of law, when it comes to […] Read more

R-CALF has been busy suing major packers and getting help from trial lawyers to sue the beef check-off and USDA.

Dittmer: From the Golden Globes to R-CALF

Free Market Reflections with Steve Dittmer

Hollywood’s Golden Globe awards telecast is mostly about movies I haven’t seen and actors I don’t know. But my wife came and got me for something disturbing.The very first award winner, before thanking anyone, thanked the Hollywood Foreign Press Association for making the pre-show dinner all-vegetarian to demonstrate how critical climate change is to the […] Read more


Dittmer: Why the U.S. wants to reform the WTO

Free Market Reflections with Steve Dittmer

Being an export-oriented beef industry and veteran of the mCOOL fiasco, Canadian cattle producers know what the initials WTO stand for (World Trade Organization). The mCOOL deal boldly illustrated one of the major problems with the WTO — it takes forever to get anything resolved. Our joint experience with mCOOL was not the worst example. […] Read more

Dittmer: China back on the plus side

Free Market Reflections with Steve Dittmer

In the last couple of columns I had referred to speculations that China lifting its ban on Canadian beef and pork might be tied to Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou’s preliminary hearings in September or extradition hearings in January. After all, the alleged discovery of ractopamine residues in a shipment of alleged Canadian pork accompanied by […] Read more


Stagnant access to Chinese markets will put more incentive on Canada’s exporters to develop new markets available to them through the CPTPP.

Dittmer: Exporting commodities is not always easy

Free Market Reflections with Steve Dittmer

The problems for Canada over Huawei’s Meng situation have grown more complex. The preliminary hearing, which was already scheduled for eight days, has morphed into a multi-week, perhaps multi-month, legal extravaganza. Arguments about possible co-ordination between the U.S. and Canada, possible violation of her legal rights and the possibility of her extradition even being dropped […] Read more



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