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Trump urges US firms to 'step up their efforts' on 5G on Twitter

File photo of US President Donald Trump. Photograph:( Reuters )

AFP Washington, DC, USA Feb 21, 2019, 09.28 PM (IST)

President Donald Trump said Thursday American firms should "step up their efforts" on 5G -- superfast fifth-generation wireless networks -- while suggesting he was not prepared to block foreign firms from the US market for the key technology.

The comments made on Twitter left unclear whether Trump intended to bar Chinese firms from 5G networks in the United States, which has been reported by several media outlets.

But he said the US should "win through competition, not by blocking out currently more advanced technologies."

The Trump administration in recent months has ramped up efforts to block Huawei, the leader in 5G, by urging allies to avoid the Chinese powerhouse, claiming that national security interests were at stake.

Trump's latest comments made no mention of China or Huawei but appeared to step back from the threat of a full ban.

"I want 5G, and even 6G, technology in the United States as soon as possible," he said. "American companies must step up their efforts, or get left behind. There is no reason that we should be lagging behind on something that is so obviously the future."

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He added, "I want the United States to win through competition, not by blocking out currently more advanced technologies. We must always be the leader in everything we do, especially when it comes to the very exciting world of technology."

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Story highlights

The Trump administration in recent months has ramped up efforts to block Huawei, the leader in 5G, by urging allies to avoid the Chinese powerhouse, claiming that national security interests were at stake.