The US ambassador to the Netherlands, Pete Hoekstra, has confirmed that his country has been trying to persuade the Dutch government to block the sale of EUV scanners to China. “We believe this is extraordinarily sensitive technology, which doesn’t belong in certain places,” Hoekstra told Het Financieele Dagblad. He didn’t specify which risks might be associated with EUV lithography, but reportedly the US is citing security concerns.
Previously, the Chinese ambassador warned that blocking the sale could sour relations between China and the Netherlands. “We wouldn’t want the Dutch to cave in under US pressure. Should that happen, it would affect the relationship between our countries in a negative way,” Xu told FD.
Meanwhile, Dutch politicians, including Prime Minister Rutte, have been trying to play down the foreign pressure. “Our country makes its own wise decisions,” Rutte said at the weekly press conference. Making decisions does seem to take quite a bit of time, however. ASML has been waiting for the renewed export license since June 2019.