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


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