Kudlow says Trump administration opposes government intervention in 5G

National Economic Council Director Larry Kudlow on Thursday said the Trump administration opposes government intervention in the deployment of next-generation wireless networks known as 5G. 

Kudlow, speaking at a wireless trade group event, promoted the administration's position that the private sector should drive 5G deployment. 

ADVERTISEMENT

"I don't want the government to run this," Kudlow said at an event hosted by CTIA in Washington, D.C. 

President TrumpDonald TrumpPence: Supreme Court has chance to right 'historic wrong' with abortion ruling Prosecutor says during trial that actor Jussie Smollett staged 'fake hate crime' Overnight Defense & National Security — US, Iran return to negotiating table MORE's 2020 campaign, led by campaign manager Brad Parscale, previously raised eyebrows by promoting a nationalized 5G deployment plan, which would put the government in charge of making 5G widely available in the U.S. 

Kudlow and members of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) quickly opposed that plan, saying wireless companies should take the lead. 

The tech and telecom industries have been excitedly cheerleading the introduction of 5G, touting its potentially massive economic benefits. Next-generation 5G wireless is expected to provide internet connections that are exponentially faster than current speeds, enabling a host of new technologies, but skeptics of the technology say it is nowhere near ready for rollout. 

Kudlow's remarks on Thursday largely served as an assurance that the Trump administration still believes industry should lead the deployment of U.S. 5G. 

"We should stay on the free-market track," Kudlow said. "We want as much entrepreneurship as possible. We want to make sure the door is open for American companies and related suppliers." 

Some proponents of a nationalized plan say it would help the U.S. roll out 5G before China. The National Security Council last year put together a plan that would allow the Trump administration to build a nationwide 5G network to compete with China, which some say is racing ahead of the U.S. in the deployment of the next-generation technology.

Chinese telecom giant Huawei is playing a pivotal role in developing 5G networks in other countries, including many U.S. allies, but Washington has banned Huawei products in the U.S., citing national security concerns. U.S. officials have warned that companies such as Huawei could be compromised by Chinese intelligence.

"There will be a national security piece, without question, but it seems to me the way we’re doing things is the right way and we’ll continue that," Kudlow said. "The private sector will figure things out far better than the government sector. You’re far ahead of us, you always are."

Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have opposed the plan, saying it would give the government too much control. A trio of senators — Sens. John CornynJohn CornynMental health: The power of connecting requires the power of investing Senators call for Smithsonian Latino, women's museums to be built on National Mall Cornyn says he 'would be surprised' if GOP tries to unseat Sinema in 2024 MORE (R-Texas), Richard BurrRichard Mauze BurrTexas Democrat Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson announces retirement at end of term On The Money — IRS chief calls for reinforcements Burr brother-in-law ordered to testify in insider trading probe MORE (R-N.C.), and Mark WarnerMark Robert WarnerFive Senate Democrats reportedly opposed to Biden banking nominee The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by ExxonMobil - House to vote on Biden social spending bill after McCarthy delay Overnight Defense & National Security — Presented by Boeing — US mulls Afghan evacuees' future MORE (D-Va.) — last week introduced legislation that would reject a nationalized 5G strategy.