GFM Network News


Politics and a renewed vigour of nationalism are making it increasingly difficult for international trade.

Agricultural trade looms as election issue

Farmers, most of whom rely on exports know it, and so does Ottawa as both face rising protectionism

Continuing trade turmoil is top of mind for Canadian farmers and the federal government heading into the October federal election. The Western Canadian Wheat Growers Association (WCWGA) is demanding the government bulldoze barriers to Canadian agricultural exports. The Canadian Agri-Food Trade Alliance (CAFTA) has issued recommendations to protect and enhance Canadian agriculture and food exports.

Without a reopening of the Chinese market, farmers in the U.S. are likely to see continued downward pressure on soy prices.

Comment: U.S. farmers suffering from trade wars

As usual, farmers are getting it coming and going from this economic upset

Despite the hope that the U.S. and China would come to an agreement on trade that would end China’s retaliatory tariffs on agricultural imports from the U.S., nothing is on tap as we write this column. In what appears to be an attempt by the administration to pressure the Chinese into a deal by announcing


Steel tariffs made farm equipment manufacturing margins smaller last year.

Tariffs made for ‘lean year’ for agriculture manufacturers

The lifting of the U.S.-Canada steel tariffs should make trade easier, but it might be too early to tell if it will reduce the cost of farm machinery

Despite dropped steel tariffs, one Manitoba manufacturer of agricultural equipment says it’s too early to be optimistic. “I think it’s just going to be a regular day of business,” said Darren Blazeiko, general manager of Cancade CBI Ltd. in Brandon. Why it matters: The tariffs have made imports of steel and equipment and exports of

Editorial: Back to the future?

Trying to predict the future with any accuracy is a fool’s errand, but that doesn’t stop plenty from trying. One of the biggest fallacies people fall into is the ‘recency effect,’ when the events of the near past are assumed to be more important than earlier events. Informally, it’s become shorthand for the assumption that

Shifting sands on international trade

Trade times have changed — and that puts Canada in a tough spot

So what’s caused this move to protectionism after decades of freer trade? Call it the Trump effect. The United States, once the world’s leader in multilateral trade promotion, has derailed trade as it tries to win better deals for itself. “(I)n all honesty it’s affecting a lot of countries around the world because a lot


Editorial: Rubber meets road on trade deals

It’s an article of faith in many parts of Canada’s agriculture economy that trade is good, the freer the better. In the run-up to recent deals with the European Union (CETA) and a group of Asian-Pacific trading partners (CPTPP,) many of your industry groups were among the loudest and most supportive voices. Both are now

Export Development Canada expects the pork industry to win an additional $639 million over what is already a $1-billion-a-year Japanese market under the CPTPP trade deal.

Tallying up the CPTPP trade deal

Manitoba agriculture stands to benefit

Manitoba’s ag sector is getting ready for a new trade reality now that CPTPP has loosened trade bounds between Canada and Pacific Rim countries. The 11-nation trade deal, which was almost derailed in 2017 with the sudden withdrawal by the U.S., officially came into force Dec. 30, 2018, with Canada as one of the first

Editorial: Volatility likely to linger

When you are as dependent on exports as Canadian farmers, the ability to weather volatile markets has to be part of the business plan. The Canadian Agri-Food Trade Alliance says Canada exports half of the beef and cattle produced, 70 per cent of its soybeans, 70 per cent of its pork production, 75 per cent


World Trade Organization (WTO) headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, July 26, 2018.

U.S. President Trump forces WTO revamp

Threats and demands from the U.S. president have sparked an ‘existential crisis’ for the organization

The World Trade Organization is scrambling to develop a plan for the biggest reform in its 23-year history. This comes after U.S. President Donald Trump brought the world’s top trade court to the brink of collapse by blocking appointments of its judges and threatening to pull the United States out of the organization. Trump’s administration

Most Canadian farmers praise quick passage of CPTPP law

New opportunities and a levelled playing field with other agriculture exporters are lauded

Canada’s grain farmers and other export-oriented producers have issued statements praising the Canadian government for quickly passing legislation ratifying the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) paving the way for Canadian farmers to see increased export volumes that could result in higher farm revenues as early as next spring. Alberta Wheat and Barley