Paul van Gerven
23 January 2023

The Dutch Ministry of Defense supported the export ban of ASML’s EUV equipment to China, Het Financieele Dagblad reports (link in Dutch). Defense analysts fear that EUV will enable China to develop advanced weaponry and other military systems and sell them to NATO’s adversaries. “The export of EUV equipment significantly increases the possibility of a NATO member having to defend itself against advanced weapon systems in the future,” states a document obtained through the Freedom of Information Act.

ASML NXE3350B
Credit: ASML

The document is dated October 2020, ten months after the export ban was first reported. Following US diplomatic pressure dating back as far back as 2018, the Dutch government didn’t renew the export license for EUV scanners to China – ASML filed for two such licenses, according to the document. EUV technology is part of the Wassenaar Arrangement, which controls Western exports of goods and technology that potentially have military uses.

The Biden administration has been exerting pressure on the Netherlands to expand the ban with (advanced) DUV scanners, which aren’t covered by the Wassenaar Arrangement. The Dutch cabinet has hinted that it’s reluctant to restrict trade that much, and has said the US controls won’t be copied one-to-one. Following a visit to the White House last week, Prime Minister Rutte said that he expected a “good outcome” of the discussions.