Peter Wennink of ASML hopes that under the rule of the new US president Joe Biden there will be some international consultation. In the first instance, he does not dare to count on a greater change in American policy towards China. Both Democrats and Republicans see China as the major competitor of the United States, according to Wennink.
The chairman of the Veldhoven technology company explained that the interpretation of the concept of ‘national security’ in Americans is much wider than people in Europe would think. This includes economic competitiveness. Wennink sees the tensions between the US and China primarily as a technology war. He points out that American companies now have a lot of money on their technological advantage in certain areas, but China is developing rapidly.
AMSL, which provides state-of-the-art technology to create very advanced chips, is a little bit between two fronts. The company does business in both the US and China, and the company benefits from exporting its own devices without major barriers. The trade pressure that has been greatly increased is unfavourable to the company.
For example, the US recently imposed trade sanctions on China’s largest chipmaker, who is also a customer of ASML. Earlier it came to light that the Americans do not want ASML to export its highly specialised EUV machines to China. ASML is still waiting for a Dutch export licence for China for the export of these equipment.
However, ASML, and Europe in the wider sense, also shares some of the Americans ‘ concerns about China, according to Wennink. Think, for example, of the protection of intellectual property rights in the Asian country. On this last point, the difference between the old and the new president could also be noticeable, according to Wennink. “If we have more multilateral consultations, we can increase joint action on important issues.”