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When China stops growing, what does it stop buying?

China has stopped growing. Did you hear? It’s a potentially world-changing and markets-disrupting development that while not entirely unexpected to happen sometime, certainly was not expected to be happening yet. Basically, China’s population is believed to have fallen slightly, as the lingering impact of its famous “one child” policy continues to sap China’s fertility rate, […] Read more

Industry “resiliency” is a never-given

Everybody hates getting their vehicle stuck and having to call for help. I’m sure the captain of the Ever Given, the gigantic container ship that completely blocked the Suez Canal for a week, was mightily embarrassed having to put out an emergency call to canal officials, tug boat operators and his bosses at the shipping […] Read more

The tectonic plates shift on China, and Canada’s one of the shifting pieces

The tectonic plates shift on China, and Canada’s one of the shifting pieces

But where will the plates end up, and what new mountain ranges and troughs will appear before it's all over?

I keep a globe by my desk. I spin it around to the relevant places whenever I write about global trade and geopolitics. It’s the best low-tech tool I have to get instant perspective on some of the more complex events that affect farmers, agriculture, commodities and our nation. Today I spun it to the […] Read more


Farmers have bigger things than KXL to worry about

Farmers have bigger things to worry about than the generally-expected cancellation of the Keystone XL pipeline by the new U.S. Joe Biden administration. Farmers obviously realize the oil industry is not a core part of the agricultural economy, but it provides lots of off-farm jobs to many farm folk, plus the royalties and economic activity […] Read more

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe shakes hands with U.S. President Donald Trump after signing a joint statement on trade during a bilateral meeting on the sidelines of the 74th session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York City Sept. 25.  |  REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst photo

Could Canada run a two-track trade policy?

One track for the rules-following folks and one for the cheats?

We keep hoping this present worldwide binge of protectionism, geo-political bullying and bad-will will fade, subside and JUST GO AWAY! But if it doesn’t, what does Canada do? How do Canadian farmers adapt to that fact? It’s like with climate change: We hope it can be stopped, but if it can’t be, what do we […] Read more


The justification for the total block is that China said it had found a number of fake veterinary health certificates for meat products imported from Canada because of poor supervision, the newspaper said. | File photo

China shows that you can’t count on China – ever

China blocks Canadian pork and beef and proves itself a bad bet for any future relationships

China has now added Canadian pork and beef to its blockade of Canadian agricultural exports, as it continues to bash away at Canada. Canadian farmers will be the biggest losers. It hits them directly. Not only does the physical movement of meat get disrupted, but export prices will be discounted as Canadian product looks to […] Read more

Send Chretien to crack China’s coldness?

It was a nostalgic feeling last week to hear the names “Mulroney” and “Chretien” being batted around in the national news again, connected with each other. The former Prime Ministers weren’t fighting, but rather Brian Mulroney was said to be lobbying present PM Justin Trudeau to dispatch Jean Chretien to China to try to fix […] Read more

Canada torn between two trade bullies with the U.S. and China

Best approach: stay standing and don't cry

Canada is torn between two bullies, feeling like a fool. Dealing with both of them is breaking all our hopes. With our belligerent erstwhile friend to the south having recently finished savaging us in the NAFTA2 negotiations, and China presently raging at us and locking up unlucky Canadians, it’s a very, very, very uncomfortable time […] Read more


International Trade Diversification Minister Jim Carr spent a snowy lunch with leaders of Manitoba’s farming and agriculture communities in downtown Winnipeg Nov. 2 just before heading to China.  |  Ed White photo

Trade mission to China reflects new optimism

Three federal cabinet ministers will visit China this week as Canada focuses its trade gaze on the Asian country

Snow was falling and servers were shivering, but the mood was warm and sunny as leaders of Canada and Manitoba’s farming industries mingled with government representatives to celebrate agricultural trade. It was easy to understand why they were so happy. A few months earlier, the North American Free Trade Agreement was in doubt, the Comprehensive […] Read more

Canada’s dairy processors said the federal government has to develop a long-term plan for the sector after chipping away at its profitability through trade agreements.
 | File photo

Dairy processors demand long-term planning from feds

Canada’s dairy processors said the federal government has to develop a long-term plan for the sector after chipping away at its profitability through trade agreements. Officials appeared at the Senate’s agriculture committee last week as part of the committee’s study of how the value-added sector can be more competitive. Dairy Processors Association of Canada president […] Read more