Biden meets Dutch prime minister amid chips dispute
WASHINGTON, Jan 17 (Reuters) - President Joe Biden met Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte on Tuesday, a day after the top Dutch trade official said the Netherlands will not summarily accept new U.S. restrictions on exporting chip-making technology to China.
Trade Minister Liesje Schreinemacher spoke on Sunday on the television show Buitenhof ahead of Rutte's Oval Office meeting with Biden, where he was expected to talk about export policy.
Biden told Rutte he looked forward to discussing ways to strengthen the supply chain as he welcomed the prime minister to the White House. Biden also thanked Rutte for being "very very stalwart" on its support for Ukraine.
Rutte said the Netherlands has decided to spend another 2.5 billion euros ($2.70 billion) supporting Ukraine, an announcement the government made previously. The Netherlands is considering joining Germany and the United States in sending Patriot missile systems to Ukraine, Bloomberg reported on Tuesday.
The two leaders are expected to discuss further support to Ukraine, "as well as further cooperation in the fields of defense and security and strengthening of the bilateral trade relationship," a Dutch statement said.
The United States in October adopted sweeping measures to hobble China's ability to make its own chips, and U.S. trade officials said at the time they expected the Netherlands and Japan to implement similar rules soon.
The Netherlands' largest company is ASML Holding, a key supplier to the semiconductor industry.
Rutte told reporters on Friday that he did not feel pressure from Washington to adopt more restrictions on semiconductor exports to China.
“This is a terrain where we're a world player and we can conduct discussions about it without immediately talking in terms ... of being 'put under pressure'. I don't experience it like that at all," he said. ($1 = 0.9267 euros) (Reporting By Steve Holland Editing by Tomasz Janowski)