Congressman Doc Hastings

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Reps. Hastings and Daines Request Fair Trade Access for Polysilicon Manufacturers

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Washington, D.C., Oct 2, 2013 | Neal Kirby (202-225-5816) | comments
Yesterday afternoon, Congressmen Doc Hastings (R-WA) and Steve Daines (R-MT) sent a joint letter requesting that the United States Trade Representative preserve access to the Chinese market for United States manufacturers of polysilicon. REC Silicon, a local manufacturer that employs over 900 people at facilities in Moses Lake, Washington and Butte, Montana, have recently become the victim of steep tariffs from China, which is one of their largest markets.

“These tariffs from China are devastating for top employers like REC Silicon in Moses Lake and can have a significant effect on our entire economy in Central Washington,” said Congressman Doc Hastings. “We felt it necessary to bring this issue to Ambassador Froman’s attention as quickly as possible and request that his office dedicate all resources at his disposal to preserve fair access to the Chinese marketplace.”

“I am deeply concerned about the effect that these new tariffs would have on our nation's polysilicon manufacturing industry and hundreds of good-paying jobs in Butte,” said Congressman Steve Daines. “I strongly encourage Ambassador Froman to work quickly toward a solution that ensures U.S. polysilicon manufacturers, like REC Silicon in Montana and Washington, have fair access to Chinese markets.”

Click here to read a copy of the signed letter.

Dear Ambassador Froman:

We urge you to dedicate all of the resources at your disposal to preserve access to the Chinese market for U.S. manufacturers of polysilicon.

We have recently been made aware that the Chinese Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) imposed a steep tariff of 57 percent on Chinese imports of U.S. produced polysilicon. This was in response to additional duties on Chinese solar panel products set by the U.S. Department of Commerce in reaction to antidumping and countervailing duty investigations of solar panels from China.

China is a vital market for the U.S. polysilicon industry, including REC Silicon, which employs over 900 people at facilities in our districts in Moses Lake, Washington and Butte, Montana. If U.S. polysilicon manufacturers do not have fair access to the Chinese market, many producers, including REC Silicon, may be forced to close – resulting in the devastating loss of hundreds of highly skilled jobs in these rural communities.

We believe that the U.S. polysilicon industry deserves to compete on a level playing field in the Chinese market, and are concerned that escalation of this solar trade war poses a significant economic threat to the communities we represent. It is our understanding that the Solar Energy Industries Association has developed a plan to resolve this trade dispute with China and eliminate the Chinese tariffs on U.S. polysilicon. We respectfully request that you promptly consider the merits of this plan, and dedicate all available resources to work with MOFCOM to preserve fair access for U.S. polysilicon manufacturers to the Chinese market.

Sincerely,

Doc Hastings                          Steve Daines
Member of Congress              Member of Congress

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