REC Silicon to shut down operations in Moses Lake today

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REC Silicon will shut down operations at its Moses Lake plant site today.

Due to the ongoing US-China trade dispute, the plant will shut down leaving about 150 employees without jobs.

A news release from the company states that WorkSource will hold an emergency response and dislocated worker orientation this Wednesday at their office in Moses Lake.

Laid-off workers will learn about unemployment benefits, retraining, trade adjustment assistance, job search assistance and more during Wednesday’s orientation.

The closure comes as a result of China imposing tariffs on U.S. polysilicon in 2013. This was followed in 2018 by the Trump administration imposing tariffs on Chinese solar panels.

“Though it still appears hopeful that trade negotiations will lead to the removal of tariffs on polysilicon imports from the United States into China, REC Silicon acknowledged that neither government has imposed a deadline for such a resolution or provided anything approaching certainty on when one might appear,” a release from the company said.

The tariffs prevent REC from selling products into the Chinese market that once produced 90% of the world’s solar panels.