GFM Network News


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


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

Eureka! At last, we have a renegotiated NAFTA

Free Market Reflections with Steve Dittmer

While it seems like forever to us, these kinds of diplomatic trade battles usually take several years to settle, not just a little over a year. Of course, President Trump wasn’t around before now, pushing people’s buttons and impatiently demanding results like a business tycoon. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau made a major point that the […] Read more


U.S. President Donald Trump at a Make America Great Again rally in Topeka, Kansas, on Oct. 6, 2018.

Down to the bitter end

Free Market Reflections with Steve Dittmer

I’ve talked to a lot of cattlemen across America in the last year. To a man, or woman, they are not comfortable with some of President Trump’s brash New York style. Of course, one has to remember how his business career forged him. He has dealt with wealthy, egotistical national and international property owners; tough […] Read more

A lackluster summer for NAFTA

Free Market Reflections with Steve Dittmer

You might well have seen President Trump in recent weeks all over the world (North Korea, G7 Summit in Quebec, NATO meetings and Helsinki, Finland with Vladimir Putin). You might not have seen him at campaign events in West Virginia, Michigan, Minnesota and elsewhere, if Canadian TV doesn’t carry those hugely successful events. The point […] Read more


Almost from day one, President Trump has threatened to pull out of NAFTA if he doesn’t get the deal he wants.

NAFTA brinkmanship fails to meet deadlines

Free Market Reflections with Steve Dittmer

The politicians promised we would know whether or not we were going to have a new NAFTA agreement by early May. Frankly, President Trump had it in his hands. The most important issue (gauged by the time invested in it), auto assembly and auto parts, has been discussed for weeks now, long enough that negotiators must have […] Read more

Flags are pictured during the fifth round of NAFTA talks involving the United States, Mexico and Canada, in Mexico City, Mexico, November 19, 2017.

Is fortune smiling on NAFTA?

Free Market Reflections with Steve Dittmer

If fortune is smiling on Canada this spring, you will be reading this column for clues as to how an agreement in principle was finally forged on renegotiating NAFTA. For months now we’ve been tracking the convergence of numerous factors that were pointing towards a do or die situation either this spring or in 2019. […] Read more