Mientras celebramos las vacaciones de Navidad, Im thankful for faith, familia, y ricas tradiciones. Y este año, Im tempted to add the fact that I dont live in Norway to my lista country that suddenly has found itself without butter.

Over the next few days You can order Tramadol, butter is not an option for me. At my daughters home, well bake sugar cookies with a lot of it. When the cookies come out of the oven, my seven grandchildren will form an assembly line and decorate them with icing, sprinkles and giggles.


Its one of our familys Christmas traditions.

Were hardly alone. Alrededor del mundo, millions of others have their own rituals involving Christmas and food including cookies. Many of them will use good, wholesome butter.

But not in Norway, where people find themselves trapped in an awful predicament at precisely the wrong time.

Durante la guerra fría, the Soviet Union used to have bread lines. Este mes, Norway has witnessed the birth of butter lines. According to some reports, desperate Norwegians have paid as much as $500 for a pound of butter.

Norways butter shortage is an entirely man-made political problem. Theres no sensible reason why Norwegians, who enjoy one of the worlds highest per-capita GDPs, ought to run out of something as basic as butter.

The rest of us should learn from Norways mistakeand get behind trade policies that will allow us not only to bake delicious cookies at Christmas, but to maintain our food security year round. Especially when we are talking about the availability of food staples.

Norwegians lack butter right now because their government uses tariffs as steep as a fjords cliffs to keep people from importing it.

In a normal year, high tariffs would lead merely to artificially inflated consumer prices. Este verano, sin embargo, it rained a lot in Norway, hurting the quality of animal feed and leading to poor production on dairy farms. mientras tanto, many Norwegians are choosing low-carb, fat-rich diets. So Norways demand for butter is high, but right now its supply is low.

The current shortfalls are the result. Theyre expected to last into next month.

The rational solution would be to buy butter from foreign producers. This is what many ordinary consumers have done; turning to supermarkets in Sweden, where butter is plentiful and grocers love the extra business. There are even reports of butter smuggling: A Russian man was arrested as he tried to sneak 200 pounds of butter into Norway.

The United States has the DEA, also known as the Drug Enforcement Agency. Does Norway need a BEA?

In fairness, it must be said that Norways conundrum isnt a case of ordinary protectionism. Norway imposes high tariffs to prop up the Norwegian dairy industryand not for entirely bad motives, as Matthew Yglesias observes in an article for Slate. Much of the countrys wealth comes from oil, which generates a high-value currency and the possibility that high-octane purchasing power will create a flood of imports that destroys the domestic production of just about everything except North Sea oil drilling.

Aún así, Oslo seems to understand that its butter tariffs have become a big problem. It has sliced them by 80 percent and promised to keep them at this level at least until March.

A nation that takes pride in awarding the Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences each year probably should realize that meddling in markets invites serious risks. Protectionism of any sort always comes with a steep price.

Norways population is less than 5 millón. Maryland and Minnesota have more people. A country so small cant produce everything it needs and also maintain a high standard of living. This is especially true when the country is cold, limiting its agricultural potential.

Even if Oslo were to eliminate its butter tariff, the United States probably wouldnt take over the Norwegian butter market. Denmark is a big dairy producer. Its closer, también. sin embargo, we can all profit from Norways butter fiasco by learning the right lesson: High tariffs created shortages and low tariffs create abundance, as we buy and sell goods and services across borders.

My wish for you as you gather with family and friends is that the foods important to you and yours are available this holiday season and the New Year. Food Security is a priceless gift. Lawmakers and other public officials who prefer trade restrictions to free-trade agreements deserve one thing for Christmas this year: coal in their stockings.

Carol Keizer es propietaria y opera operaciones de alimentación de ganado en Kansas, Nebraska and Illinois. She is a Truth About Trade & Miembro de la junta de tecnología. http://www.truthabouttrade.org