The Biden Administration wants to throttle the export of Dutch chipmaking systems to China. Prime minister Mark Rutte recently discussed the topic in a meeting with president Joe Biden, but no agreements were made. That may change when the Dutch return to Washington come Friday.
Dutch and US officials will meet in Washington on Friday to discuss controls on the export of semiconductor manufacturing gear to China, insider sources told Reuters. The sources say that a deal may be agreed upon by the end of the month.
In October, US Congress passed export controls that seek to curtail China’s access to advanced semiconductor technology, including tools and expertise related to the manufacturing of chips and equipment.
The wants to use its own market power as well as its allies to blunt China’s supercomputing and artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities. The rationale behind the move is that these technologies enable China to develop advanced weapon systems and surveillance infrastructure linked to human rights abuses.
Washington is calling on allies worldwide to adopt its policy. The Netherlands and Japan, however, have so far resisted. The Biden Administration is now mounting a full-court press to get the countries on board, but in the case of the Dutch, it may prove to be an uphill battle.
ASML, the world’s leading producer of critical lithography equipment for semiconductor manufacturing, is based in The Netherlands. The company strongly opposes any export restrictions. Its CEO claims that ASML “has already sacrificed” when it comes to curbing exports to China.
One of Reuters’ sources said that Dutch officials are adamant the controls be tailored to national security concerns and not give the appearance that the United States is trying to favour its own chipmaking industry.