November 29, 2022

Export Controls Give ASML and the Netherlands an Opportunity to Lead by Example. Will They Take It?

ASML is Europe's most valuable tech company, but lately it finds itself caught in a conflict between its commercial profits and its commitment to human rights. ASML makes the complex machines required to construct advanced microchips, and it sells many of these machines to China, where they are used to make microchips for—among other things— weapons used by the Chinese military and surveillance systems used by the Chinese state.

If the Netherlands adopted the U.S. controls, ASML and ASMI could continue most of their sales to China.

Over the past few months, the United States has been ramping up its export controls to limit China's access to advanced microchips. After the latest round of U.S. controls fell into place in early October, much attention was paid to how they can limit China's development of military technologies, particularly nuclear weapons and hypersonic missiles. Less attention has focused on another key motivation for the controls: limiting China's extensive systemic human rights abuses.

Read the full article from RAND.

This commentary originally appeared on de Volkskrant on November 27, 2022.

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