OLYMPIA— Gov. Jay Inslee released a statement today regarding REC Silicon's announcement that it would restart polysilicon production at its Moses Lake facility later this month. Production had been halted earlier this year due to impacts associated with an ongoing U.S.-China trade disagreement affecting each nation’s polysilicon and solar panel manufacturing industries. 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, and with President Obama in February of this year.
“I am pleased with the news that REC Silicon will be able to restart polysilicon production in Moses Lake. REC and its hundreds of Washington employees are on the leading edge in manufacturing innovative, low-cost polysilicon – a critical part of the solar energy supply chain.
“However, the ongoing solar trade dispute remains unresolved and will continue to threaten REC. My administration is committed to continuing to work with the company to support it and its Moses Lake workers. We will also continue our efforts to try to help the parties involved reach a swift resolution. I have discussed this issue personally with both President Xi and President Obama, and my staff continues to communicate with relevant stakeholders. I have also appreciated the hard work that the U.S. Trade Representative has devoted to resolving this issue. At this time it is essential that all involved stakeholders come to the table with a willingness to compromise to resolve this dispute, in order to protect American jobs and for the mutual benefit of both nations.”