USA wants to expand export ban for ASML to China
Dhe chip machine manufacturer ASML gets deeper into the global political debate about high technology. The United States also wants to export older ASML machines China and want the government in The Hague to impose a corresponding export ban. This can be deduced from answers given by Dutch Foreign Trade Minister Liesje Schreinemacher to a question in Parliament. The relevant documents can be viewed on the website of the Second Chamber, which corresponds to the German Bundestag.
This expands the demands of the Americans. ASML is the main supplier of the machines that semiconductor companies like intel and TSMC need to make chips. So far, ASML has only been prevented from exporting its ultra-modern EUV machines to China. ASML has a technological monopoly on this latest generation – the abbreviation stands for extreme ultraviolet radiation; no one else can deliver the omnibus-sized devices. The company has been waiting for an export license from the domestic government for more than three years – and as things stand, it probably won’t get it again.
In October, the US government then imposed comprehensive export restrictions to China – because of concerns about its increasing power, especially militarily. This raised the question of whether ASML should also stop shipping the slightly less new and more common products there, the so-called DUV machines.
America wants export ban
In addition, an opposition politician recently made a request in the second chamber, namely Laurens Dassen, who heads the two-strong Volt faction. Minister Schreinemacher from Prime Minister Mark Rutte’s right-wing liberal VVD explained that there were “regular talks” about the export of high technology, including with the United States. “In these talks, American initiatives are also discussed, particularly their implications for Dutch companies.”
Volt politician Dassen followed up and asked specifically: Is it true that US Deputy Secretary of Commerce Don Graves asked for an export ban for the DUV machines on June 1 – in addition to the existing EUV boycott? Schreinemacher declined to give a specific answer to this question and referred to the confidentiality of the talks. But the opposition politician followed up with a follow-up question: “Do you calculate that the proposed export ban on DUV machines (which is supported by Japan) can also be based on other reasons, namely economic ones?” The minister replied: “Yes.”
During a visit to the Netherlands in late May and early June, Graves is said to have also visited the ASML headquarters in Veldhoven and met CEO Peter Wennink. After the US government recently announced its new restrictions, ASML reacted quickly locally: In an internal email, the management there instructed employees in America not to support any customers in China for the time being.
Shortly thereafter, however, the company appeared calm when presenting quarterly figures. The direct effects of the US restrictions are currently “quite limited,” said Roger Dassen, ASML chief financial officer and namesake of the Volt politician. As a European company with little American technology in its products, it can deliver to China from here – except for the EUV machines, for which the Hague export license is missing. However, Dassen also saw indirect consequences as possible: for example, Chinese manufacturers could be cut off from essential equipment from the USA, with consequences for orders from ASML. But the company is busy with orders outside of China.
High growth until 2030
At the Investors’ Day in Veldhoven on Friday, ASML followed up, presenting highly optimistic long-term plans: The group aims to increase sales to around 44 to 60 billion euros by 2030 – in the best case almost a tripling, because the current year is good estimated at 21 billion euros. The company also wants to acquire shares worth up to 12 billion euros by 2025. The share price rose significantly after the announcement. With a market value of around 220 billion euros, ASML is the second most valuable company in the euro zone behind the French luxury goods group LVMH.