The U.S., Japan, and the Netherlands have come to an agreement to limit the exports of high-tech chip-making equipment to China. This move is part of the Biden administration’s attempt to slow China’s military advancements by restricting their access to advanced technologies. The agreement was made during a recent meeting in Washington between national security officials of the three countries.
The U.S. implemented expansive export restrictions on advanced chips and equipment manufactured by U.S. companies in October of last year, and now Japan and the Netherlands have joined in these efforts. However, the agreement has not been publicly announced by any of the countries due to potential retaliation from China.
Japan and the Netherlands will bar some of their companies from selling to China, with the Netherlands forbidding ASML Holding from selling immersion lithography machines to China. These machines are essential for making cutting-edge chips. Similarly, Japan will set restrictions on Nikon Corp. The support of these two countries is vital to the success of the U.S.’s export-control policy as they have a small number of semiconductor-manufacturing equipment makers, including ASML and Nikon.
The leaders of Japan and the Netherlands recently visited President Biden at the White House to discuss these measures. Though allies like the European Union, Japan, and South Korea are working closely with the U.S. to counter China’s technological advancements, they are cautious about implementing policies that restrict their companies due to their heavy reliance on business with China.
However, the European Union’s market commissioner, Thierry Breton, says that Europe will always support the U.S. in ensuring their common security in technology, but action should be limited to what is necessary and done in full partnership with Europe. Companies such as ASML and Nikon are aware of the agreement but have yet to assess its impact.