Dutch: China’s export curb on chip metals requires EU response

Beijing’s gallium licensing follows similar move by Netherlands on ASML items

European Union flags in Brussels. The Netherlands says China’s licensing rule for exports of gallium products calls for a response from the EU. © Reuters

The European Union must respond to new rules introduced by China requiring a license to export two metals widely used in semiconductor manufacturing, the Dutch government said on Tuesday.

China’s decision affecting some gallium and germanium products announced Monday is a response to recent export restrictions imposed on it by the U.S. and allies aimed at slowing its technological and military advances.

The Netherlands on Friday introduced new rules requiring a license to export chipmaking equipment made by ASML, the Netherlands’ largest company. The Hague, like Beijing, said its rules were not intended to target any one country.

“To what extent this will have consequences for the European and Dutch economy will depend on how China carries it out,” the Dutch Foreign Ministry said in a statement. “Given the authority that the European Union has in trade policy, it’s primarily up to the EU to address China about these measures.”

Earlier on Tuesday, the European Union said it was concerned about China’s curbs and urged it to limit such restrictions to only those strictly necessary for national security.

The EU oversees trade policy for member states, which have a single internal market for goods and services, but the Dutch government argued that its export controls were a matter of national security — which is up to individual EU member states.

Beijing also cited national security needs in introducing its new rules.

The Dutch foreign minister will “keep in close contact with the European Commission and other EU member states about this,” the statement said.

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