Trade Dispute Threatens Moses Lake Industry - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Trade Dispute Threatens Moses Lake Industry

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MOSES LAKE, Wash. - A trade dispute with China threatens the future of an industrial plant in Moses Lake that makes polysilicon used to make solar panels.
About 80% of the polysilicon produced at REC Silicon in Moses Lake goes to customers in China. Last month, China slapped duties on U.S.-made polysilicon in retaliation for American tariffs imposed last year on imported Chinese solar panels.
REC general council Francine Sullivan says the business is facing a massive blow unless it gets political help.  Washington Gov. Jay Inslee and members of Congress have pledged support, but a resolution is months away.
The REC complex covers 550 acres and has about 500 employees.  It underwent a $1.7 billion expansion three years ago with plans for another $1 billion investment have been put on hold.