Dutch minister says Netherlands ‘will not copy’ US curbs on Chinese chip exports

The United States should not expect the Netherlands to follow its approach on China export restrictions, said a Dutch official on Friday, during an interview. These remarks were the first by the Netherlands on the issue as the United States President Joe Biden’s administration has been pushing for a multilateral agreement to impose restrictions on China which reportedly aims to keep advanced chip technologies away from Beijing and its military. 

In an interview with a Dutch newspaper, NRC, Foreign Trade Minister, Liesje Schreinemacher said, “The Netherlands will not copy the American measures one-to-one.” The country will make its own assessment and consult partner countries such as Japan and the US, she added. The trade minister also said that the country will likely introduce certain export controls on China by itself. 

“We already have restrictions in our export licensing policy. I can imagine that we will look at semiconductors and the chip market with a more critical eye,” she said during the interview. Furthermore, Schreinemacher also spoke about how the Dutch government needs additional time to decide these potential new rules without going into any specifics. 

Notably, the Netherlands is home to ASML Holding NV which is a dominant player in the semiconductor-manufacturing market. While the company has reportedly stopped selling its extreme ultraviolet lithography machines which are used to make the cutting-edge chips, to Beijing it does allow certain less sophisticated products to Chinese customers, said a report by Bloomberg.  

Meanwhile, the US’s undersecretary of commerce for industry and security, Alan Estevez, will reportedly travel to the Netherlands this month to discuss export controls. On the other hand, Chinese President Xi Jinping urged Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte to avoid disrupting the global supply chain and “politicisation of economic and trade issues”, during the G20 summit in Bali, Indonesia. 

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