Biden hosts Dutch PM at talks on Ukrainian tech chips

WASHINGTON—President Joe Biden praised the Netherlands for stepping up its support for Ukraine as he hosted Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte for a wide-ranging meeting at the White House on Tuesday. Biden is also trying to push the Netherlands to further limit China’s access to advanced semiconductors through export controls.

The Biden administration has tried to put the Netherlands on the same page since the U.S. Department of Commerce announced new export controls aimed at China in October. It is intended to limit China’s ability to develop and maintain, and manufacture advanced semiconductors.

“We are working together on how to maintain a free and open Indo-Pacific and, frankly, on China’s challenge,” Biden said at the beginning of the meeting.

Administration officials reason that the export restrictions are necessary because China can use the semiconductors to create advanced military systems, including weapons of mass destruction. commit human rights violations; improve the speed and accuracy of military decision-making, planning and logistics;

But slowing Beijing’s access will require a lot of help from allies for US export controls to have maximum effect. His ASML, a technology giant based in the Netherlands, is a leading manufacturer of lithography his machines that design and manufacture semiconductors. China is one of his ASML’s biggest clients.

CEO Peter Wennink downplayed the impact of US export control regulations shortly after the administration announced last fall.

“Based on our initial assessment, the new restrictions do not modify the rules governing ASML’s shipments of lithographic equipment from the Netherlands and will have limited direct impact on ASML’s overall 2023 shipping plans. I expect it to be a target,” he said.

ASML last year expected company-wide sales of around €21 billion in 2022.

The United States is also in talks with Japan for tougher export controls to limit the sale of semiconductor manufacturing technology to China. Rutte’s visit came after Biden invited Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida to meet with him last week.

In a joint statement after meeting in the Oval Office, the United States and Japan said they had agreed to “enhance our common advantages in economic security, including the protection and promotion of critical and emerging technologies.”

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin called on Japan and the Netherlands last week to resist US pressure.

Rutte spoke on the phone with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Monday about Saturday’s Russian missile attack on an apartment in Dnipro. Officials said the death toll from the strike rose to his 40th, with 30 still missing on Monday.

“These are terrifying pictures and I think they further strengthen our resolve to stay in Ukraine,” Rutte told reporters at the start of his meeting with Biden.

Biden said the Netherlands is one of the United States’ “strongest” allies and has proven “very, very solid” in its support to Ukraine since Russia launched its invasion in February. The Netherlands pledged about $2.7 billion (€2.5 billion) to help Ukraine this year. Funds will be spent on military equipment, humanitarian and diplomatic efforts.

The Dutch prime minister praised Mr Biden for leading an international effort to support Ukraine.

“History will judge in 2022 if the U.S. has not stepped up like you,” Rutte said.

The two leaders were also scheduled to discuss plans for a democracy summit to be co-hosted with Costa Rica, South Korea and Zambia in late March.

Biden will host the first democracy summit in December 2021, billed by the administration as the start of a global conversation about how best to stem democratic recession.

Biden is the third president of the Netherlands to visit a US president after Rutte, the longest-serving prime minister of the Netherlands. He has previously met with Barack Obama and Donald Trump.

Associated Press