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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. 

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

President TrumpDonald John TrumpNearly 300 former national security officials sign Biden endorsement letter DC correspondent on the death of Michael Reinoehl: 'The folks I know in law enforcement are extremely angry about it' Late night hosts targeted Trump over Biden 97 percent of the time in September: study 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 CornynSenate GOP eyes Oct. 26 for confirming Barrett to Supreme Court GOP noncommittal about vote on potential Trump-Pelosi coronavirus deal The Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by Goldman Sachs - Tipping point week for Trump, Biden, Congress, voters MORE (R-Texas), Richard BurrRichard Mauze BurrAs Trump downplayed the virus publicly, memo based on private briefings sparked stock sell-offs: NYT Hillicon Valley: Subpoenas for Facebook, Google and Twitter on the cards | Wray rebuffs mail-in voting conspiracies | Reps. raise mass surveillance concerns Bipartisan representatives demand answers on expired surveillance programs MORE (R-N.C.), and Mark WarnerMark Robert WarnerTrump slight against Gold Star families adds to military woes Hillicon Valley: Twitter tightens rules before election | Intelligence chief briefed lawmakers on foreign influence threats | Democrats launch inquiry into Pentagon's moves on a national 5G network Senate Democrat raises concerns around Universal Health Services breach MORE (D-Va.) — last week introduced legislation that would reject a nationalized 5G strategy.