The Netherlands joins the US in the tech coup against China

The Dutch government confirmed Wednesday that it will control the export of microchip manufacturing equipment, Politico reported. This decision bows to US pressure to block the sale of these technologies to China.

The US and the Netherlands reached an agreement on restrictions on the export of this advanced technology to China in late January, but the government has so far made no public comment on the matter.

“Given technological developments and the geopolitical context, the government has concluded that it is necessary for (inter)national security to extend the existing export controls to production equipment specifically for semiconductors,” reads the statement of Foreign Trade Minister Liesje Schreinemacher, who was published. Wednesday evening.

In the communique we can also read that the Netherlands set three strategic goals to ensure international and national security. These include preventing their technological products from being used for military purposes or for weapons of mass destruction. The country also wants to guarantee its technological leadership.

Schreinemacher also states that the Netherlands “considers it necessary, for reasons of national and international security, to test this technology as soon as possible.”

Although China is not specifically mentioned in the statement, this decision, which also includes Japan, is a US-led initiative that derails China’s plans to manufacture its own advanced semiconductors.

The impact of this press release stems from the fact that the Netherlands is home to ASML, Europe’s most valuable technology company and the world’s leading chipmaker, with a very important role in the semiconductor industry. The importance of semiconductors for the modern world is, in turn, enormous. From healthcare to transportation, they are needed for computers and cell phones, cars and airplanes, for military systems, and even machines to diagnose diseases.

ASML has already confirmed in a statement that export licenses will now need to be applied for, although “it will take time for these controls to become law and take effect”.

The Dutch government wants export control measures to be included in the Wassenaar Arrangement. This body, established in 1996 and consisting of 42 members, discusses information on the export of arms and technology. However, the government admits that “the chance of reaching a consensus is currently small” since Russia is a member and “could block the proposal”. For this reason, the government will draw up its own national export control list by the summer, which other EU members can copy.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *