We would probably be kidding ourselves if we treated President Trump’s imposition of sweeping new tariffs on China as motivated by some grand ideology or seismic shift in a War of Ideas.

Even if his advisers might throw around names like Thucydides, Mr. Trump has consistently framed international issues in the far simpler terms of machismo and zero-sum competition, and often while appearing to misunderstand the issue itself.

Still, deliberately or not, the tariffs do represent another Trump-era step away from what is short-handed as the “liberal world order” — the post-World War II default of free trade and international cooperation — and back toward the 19th-century ways of nationalism, protectionism and great-power rivalry.

short term loans