WA lawmakers urge resolution of trade dispute, say Moses Lake's REC faces closure

By:  Melissa Luck
Source: KXLY Online

Citing the possible closure of a major employer in Moses Lake, a bi-partisan group of lawmakers from Washington sent a letter Friday, urging President Trump to end the trade dispute with China. 

The letter was sent by U.S. Senators Patty Murray (D-WA) and Maria Cantwell (D-WA) and U.S. Representatives Dan Newhouse (R-WA, 4th District), Dave Reichert (R-WA, 8th District) and Denny Heck (D-WA, 10th District). 

"In July, we warned that the trade dispute between the U.S. and China over solar power was threatening hundreds of highly-skilled jobs in Washington State and Montana," the letter writes. "We regret to inform you that REC will be forced to completely shutter its operations in Moses Lake, Washington at the end of this month. The closure will result in the loss of 150-200 highly-skilled manufacturers and will severely impact the economy of Eastern Washington." 

REC Silicon already laid off 100 workers in July. 

The lawmakers urge President Trump urges President Trump to find an "immediate resolution" to the trade dispute over Chinese solar panels and American polysilicon. 

China placed the tariffs on the materials in 2014.