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

Several key trade deals are poised to benefit red meat sectors.

Trade deals herald a promising year ahead

Prime Cuts with Steve Kay

The new decade begins with much promise for the North American cattle/beef industry. Several key trade deals will benefit the red meat sectors in all three countries, including developments in China and the ratification by the U.S. Congress of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA). China’s ongoing efforts to fill the protein hole caused by the […] 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


Manitoba gathering data to press case for exempting grain drying from federal carbon tax

The Manitoba government is gathering data to make the case for exempting grain drying fuels from the federal government’s carbon tax. “So we’ll get the numbers together and then to (federal agriculture) Minister (Marie-Claude) Bibeau and we’ll continue to lobby on behalf of our ag producers,” Manitoba’s Agriculture and Resource Development Minister Blaine Pederson said […] 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


Throne speech kicks off Parliament with nod to agriculture

The federal throne speech opening the first session of Canada’s 43rd Parliament further committed the Liberal minority government to combating climate change, supporting natural resource sectors and removing international trade barriers. Including a pledge to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050, the speech, delivered Thursday in Ottawa, showed the government again demonstrating its commitment to a […] 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


CBOT weekly outlook: Impeachment process stifles markets

MarketsFarm — U.S. President Donald Trump’s impeachment hearings have dominated headlines and stalled progress in numerous trade developments, leaving the Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) starved of meaningful news. The Canada-U.S.-Mexico Agreement (CUSMA) has yet to be ratified by the U.S. House of Representatives. The trade pact, meant to replace the North American Free Trade […] Read more

Bibeau remains federal agriculture minister in shuffle

Updated, Nov. 21— Quebec MP Marie-Claude Bibeau retains her role as federal minister of agriculture and agri-food in Wednesday’s cabinet shake-up for the Liberals’ minority government. Bibeau will join her colleagues — including returning Transport Minister Marc Garneau and new Labour Minister Filomena Tassi, a Hamilton MP and former minister for seniors — in having […] Read more