GFM Network News


U.S. President Biden made earlier comments indicating he’d be tough on China, but those actions have yet to materialize.

The Chinese situation: Questions but few new answers

Free Market Reflections with Steve Dittmer

The new administration down here started off with a rush. Incoming President Biden early issued a record number of executive orders (50+), nominated and got confirmed a few top officials and then everything else stalled while Congress wrangled over a $1.9 trillion (yes, that’s a T) supposed COVID-relief bill that mostly wasn’t. Clear messages were […] Read more

History: World Trade Problems & Opportunities

Reprinted from the April 1953 issue of Canadian Cattlemen

World Trade Problems & OpportunitiesBy Dr. Claude Isbister An address by Dr. Claude Isbister, Department of Trade and Commerce, Ottawa, before the 57th Annual Meeting of the Western Stock Growers’ Association held at Calgary, February 12, 13, 1953. ‘The Rt. Honorable James G. Gardiner, Canada’s Minister of Agriculture, has just spoken to you of the […] Read more


Comment: Still America first

Updated March 11 Depending on your political persuasion, you likely watched President Joe Biden’s inauguration in January with relief, worry or some mix of the two. Will we see a more protectionist U.S. government? Will Biden restore capacity at the World Trade Organization (WTO)? What will the mood be of our largest trading partner and […] Read more

Incoming WTO director-general Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala takes part in an online meeting before speaking during an interview with Reuters in Potomac, Maryland on Feb. 15, 2021. (Photo: Reuters/Joshua Roberts)

Nigeria’s Okonjo-Iweala makes history as new head of WTO

Geneva-based body leaderless for six months; Trump paralyzed some of WTO's functions

Geneva/Washington | Reuters — Three months after the Trump administration rejected her, former Nigerian finance minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala received unanimous backing on Monday to become the first woman and first African director-general of the World Trade Organization. A self-declared “doer” with a track record of taking on seemingly intractable problems, Okonjo-Iweala will have her work […] Read more


Cherilyn Jolly-Nagel. (GGC video screengrab)

Grain Growers of Canada lobby Parliament Hill

Agriculture can help restart Canada's economy and the federal government help by addressing some issues, group says

Agriculture can help revitalize Canada’s post-COVID economy, but the federal government should clear the track for it. That means updating regulations to encourage technological innovation, improving market access for agricultural exports and recognizing farm practices that help the environment, Grain Growers of Canada (GGC) says. The organization, which represents 15 regional, provincial and national grain […] Read more

Hereford genetics were introduced to Mongolia’s Bulgan and Selenge provinces from Russia in the 1950s. The breed did well, but the cattle industry declined after the Soviet Union fell and state-run farms closed.

Canadian producer builds pasture-to-plate beef business in Mongolia

Blending modern feedlot practices with tradition is opening new doors for a small feedlot in Mongolia

When Jeremy and Roxy Thiessen first served their home-finished beef to friends, their guests declared they’d never tasted anything like it. While this is often how stories of direct-marketing success begin, the Thiessens had a distinct advantage based on their location and market demands, providing a unique opportunity for this family. At first glance, the […] Read more


The director of the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association doesn’t see the trade relationship between Canada and China improving until some of Canada’s requests are met, including the release of Canadians Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor.

Comment: Hold steady with China

In mid-September, our foreign affairs minister announced that Canada was dropping trade talks with China. “I don’t see the conditions being present now for these discussions to continue at this time,” François-Philippe Champagne told Nathan Vanderklippe of the Globe and Mail. “The China of 2020 is not the China of 2016.” This was hardly surprising […] Read more

U.S. Meat Export Federation reported earlier this year that U.S. beef and beef variety meats were down three per cent by volume and five per cent by value.

Dittmer: U.S. exports uneven but showing strength

Free Market Reflections with Steve Dittmer

How is the export situation for U.S. beef into China and Asia? In general, Japan, our number one market and South Korea, our number two, are countries that have been pretty successful at containing the novel coronavirus. Japan has dealt with some flare-ups this summer and South Korea likewise but their numbers are very small […] Read more


CCA Reports: CCA focuses on COVID-19 recovery, trade and public engagement

CCA Reports: CCA focuses on COVID-19 recovery, trade and public engagement

From the August 2020 issue of Canadian Cattlemen

Since mid-May, we have seen provinces move to slowly reopen their economies in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. While the impacts of COVID-19 on the beef industry and the greater Canadian economy will not be short-term, we are optimistic that the agriculture sector can assist in Canada’s post-COVID-19 recovery. In recent weeks, processing capacity has […] Read more

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