The Trump administration is looking at broad intervention to strengthen global competition against China’s Huawei Technologies Co. and secure the leading role for America in 5G technology.
The Wall Street Journal is reporting that administration officials have discussed a range of strategies to insert the federal government deep into the private sector. The ideas include pushing U.S. technology companies like Cisco Systems Inc. to buy European companies such as Ericsson or Nokia. However, Cisco reportedly wasn’t interested in making either acquisition.
Administration officials have also been discussing tax breaks and export-bank financing for Ericsson and Nokia. In addition, the policymakers have also talked about supporting a private-equity group that would take the European equipment manufacturers private.
The Journal reported that officials have been studying other steps to make it easier for U.S. startups to develop new technology for 5G equipment. And the newspaper noted the White House has touted progress in pushing the rollout of faster 5G networks in the U.S.
Still, Huawei remains the world’s top seller of telecommunications equipment. And, with the help of the Chinese government, the company is able to offer products at lower prices than rivals, the Journal said. The company has denied receiving any special treatment from China.
“For the first time in modern history, the United States has not been the leader in an emerging wave of critical technology,” warns a paper that circulated in the White House, written late last year by telecom experts.
Meanwhile, the U.S. is reportedly amending its prohibitions on American companies doing business with Huawei to allow them to work together in standards setting for next-generation 5G networks.
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