• MLWA 7

Moses Lake REC Plant to Pause Production Services Wednesday due to China US Tariff Dispute

— Moses Lake, WA

- By MLWA 7 and other media outlets

The REC polysilicon factory for use in the manufacture of solar panels is shutting down Wednesday due to the nation’s on-going trade dispute with China, the company said.

REC Silicon announced it will halt production at its plant in the central Washington state community of Moses Lake on Wednesday and that its remaining 150 employees will be laid off at the end of June unless the dispute ends.

“We will keep the employees for another six weeks, until we see what is the outcome of the trade war,” company president Tore Torvund told investors last week.

The Columbia Basin Herald reported last weekend that REC is struggling because of China’s 57% tariff on U.S.-made poly silicon. Torvund said if the U.S. and China fail to reach agreement, the plant will be mothballed until prices improve.

China imposed tariffs on U.S. polysilicon, which is used to make solar panels, after the U.S. imposed tariffs on Chinese solar panels. The tariffs basically prevent REC from selling its product in China, which makes most of the world’s solar panels, REC Silicon has said. Despite the problems caused by the trade war, REC Silicon supports the actions of President Donald Trump, said Francine Sullivan, vice president of marketing for the company.

“This kind of brinksmanship is necessary in politics,” Sullivan said.