Gov. Jay Inslee and members of the Washington State Congressional Delegation have been working to support REC Silicon and resolve the solar trade disagreement. Last year, Inslee wrote to Chinese Minister of Commerce Gao Huncheng and to President Obama and U.S. Trade Representative Mike Froman, urging them to reach resolution in this dispute. Inslee also spoke about this subject directly with Chinese President Xi during his visit to Seattle in 2015.
“Today’s announcement from REC Silicon is a disappointing development. REC Silicon is an innovative, low-cost polysilicon manufacturer that has been at the leading edge of clean energy manufacturing, but is now unfairly caught in an international trade dispute that threatens its survival.
“We can avert a permanent shutdown but only if the Chinese and U.S. governments, and the polysilicon and solar panel industries in both countries, agree to resolve this long-running dispute. I and my administration have been engaging with the highest levels in both governments, and directly with the industries involved, to try to help bring them together. I appreciate the efforts of the U.S. Trade Representative to prioritize a resolution that will support domestic polysilicon manufacturing. In the meantime, my administration will continue to do all it can to support REC Silicon and its 400 workers in Moses Lake. I spoke with REC’s CEO this afternoon about additional ways Washington state can help and will look for any and all opportunities to help spur a solution to protect those jobs.”