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 battle over intellectual property rights has become a major sticking point in the ongoing trade war between the U.S. and China. | File photo

BLOG: China dispute much bigger than canola sales

In 2015, the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis released a report about intellectual property in China. Normally, reports on intellectually property rights are about as appealing as flavourless oatmeal, but the document contained at least one remarkable tidbit. “We estimate that as of 2010, more than half of all technology owned by Chinese firms was […] Read more

Canada will play “Good cop, bad cop” with China

Either way, Canada shows few signs of buckling. It's not in Canada's nature

Canada’s playing Good cop/Bad cop with China. It’s not an intentional strategy. It’s just the way that the psychology of this country is breaking down. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and the Liberal Party are the ‘Good cop’ gang, hoping to use reasonableness, seeming friendliness, understanding and offers of help to get China to back off […] Read more


Central banks chained to the Promethean rock

Gun-shy governments have put too much responsibility onto central banks, and they're reaching the end of their strength

If Canada faces a combination of increasing prices and faltering economic growth, the Bank of Canada can’t do much to fix that killer combo. “In that moment you have a tradeoff between a slowing economy (and) rising unemployment, and rising inflation at the same time. Obviously monetary policy can’t buffer both of those,” said Stephen […] 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


if farmers are designing their operations to be multi-decade factories to produce crops and animals for booming Chinese demand, they need to keep in mind that this booming demand might never appear.  |  REUTERS/Aly Song photo

China: Dangerous Assumptions

In the long run, what kind of future will farmers face?

“In the long run we are all dead.” This line by British economist John Maynard Keynes highlights the silliness of looking too far out in the future and concluding that everything’s OK if it works out they way we think it eventually will. People live in the here and now, and accepting terrible conditions today […] Read more

Getting it wrong on China, Canada and trade

If prime ministers were wrong, when were they wrong?

Perhaps Canadian prime ministers, both Liberal and Conservative, have been wrong about China, Canada and trade. But when were they wrong? I’ve criticized both former Conservative Prime Minister Stephen Harper and present Liberal Prime Minister Justin Trudeau for saying critical or provocative things to or about China, and thereby undermining efforts to build a bigger […] Read more