On Friday, President Trump announced a new wireless spectrum auction designed to increase the prevalence of the next generation of wireless communications networks, a technology that management views as critical to winning a financial war with China.
Yet, Mr. Trump has so far remained silent about the US issuing an order that essentially forbids Chinese companies such as Huawei from building these networks.
At the White House on Friday, Ajit Pai, the Federal Communications Commission leader, announced the third and largest spectrum auction that telecoms companies will use to build "fifth generation" or 5G networks, which promise a high speed boost for downloading data over mobile networks.
The Trump administration sees this next-generation technology as critical to the US's ability to dominate future industries and strengthen its long-term economic prospects. It sees China's ability to control these networks as a national security threat because it can at least theoretically give Beijing access to the information flowing over them.
"Secure 5G networks will certainly be an important link to America's prosperity and national security in the 21st century," said Mr. Trump on Friday.
But Chinese telecommunications companies, such as Huawei, are ready to dominate because they offers the most affordable and what some European and Asian officials consider some of the best equipment to provide the technical backbone of the 5G network There are no US providers for main link networks, which means that the US systems are largely built by companies like Nokia and Ericsson, both Europeans.
The administration has long considered an executive order that would ban US telecommunications companies using Huawei or other Chinese equipment when building 5G networks, but the executive order has not materialized, leading to many officials and business leaders believe the administration is holding back until the current trade negotiations with China are completed. to carry Chinese companies from the United States can make Chinese leadership anger.
It is possible that Mr. Trump will allow Chinese access to the US market – despite national security issues – to find a trading relationship with Xi Jinping, China's president.
Even without the ban, the Trump administration has had a hard line of allies and told them that it allows Huawei to build and maintain 5G systems, even though they are run by Western companies, can provide Beijing with an undetectable backdoor on wireless networks.
The fear is that the Chinese government will be able to suck up and copy data flowing over wireless networks, potentially disrupting that information and, theoretically, jeopardizing business secrets and military intelligence. While much of the data is encrypted, it gives Chinese companies control over the data flow as a major risk to the Pentagon and intelligence services.
But to Mr. Trump, 5G is an election question as much as a security issue. Trump said the US couldn't allow itself to be "outcompeted" in 5G networks.
"The race to 5G is a race America must win," said Mr. Trump. "And it's a race sincerely that our big companies are involved in. We've given them the incentive they need. It's a race we want to win. "
The Trump administration had considered a plan that would have created national 5G networks using federal money. Mr. Trump said on Friday that this approach had been rejected and that the private industry would build up the US 5G networks.
Mr. Trump made no mention of China or any Chinese companies like Huawei, although he said that 5G networks must be "guarded by the enemy – and we have enemies out there."  Mr. Trump also said several times that he would extend broadband access to rural America. "Wherever you are, you can access very quickly to 5G and there will be another life," Trump said.
But critics of The administration's approach said the technology USA had embraced too much on the high-band spectrum, which would make it harder to deliver 5G service in rural America.
Jessica Rosenworcel, a democratically employed company of the FCC, criticized the Trump administration's 5G policy and said they t had done "more harm than good. "
" From imposing tariffs on 5G equipment to alienate allies to 5G security to fall behind the rest of the world at critical midband spectrum, it has not yet offered a working plan for US leadership, "she said . on Twitter
The United States has auctioned other parts of high-band electromagnetic spectrum to businesses that need to communicate with a new generation of cell phones and internet-by-thing devices.
Some experts believe the United States should focus more on developing mid-band, not high-band, spectrum, high-band provides more data but has a much smaller range, which means providers have to build far more 5G towers, which also means that a 5G-based high-band spectrum system is more difficult to build in rural areas.
Other parts of the world, especially in Asia, have focused their 5G development on midband spectrum, covering a wider area, although with lesser capacity.
"It is important that we turns to mid band right now because the rest of the world can leave us, "said Mrs Rosenworcel in an interview. "This is the spectrum that most likely will bring 5G service to rural areas of this country, and we need to think about investing in this now and not later."