Lawmakers urge Donald Trump to resolve trade dispute with China after US manufacturing facility faces closure due to tariff policy

Washington: President Donald Trump's China-tariff policy is having a devastating impact on the US polysilicon manufacturing industry, which could soon force the closure of REC Silicon in Washington State, a group of top American lawmakers said on Saturday.

File image of US president Donald Trump. AP

File image of US president Donald Trump. AP

In a letter to Trump, the group of five lawmakers from Washington State urged him to find an immediate resolution to the trade dispute over Chinese solar panels and American polysilicon, noting that hundreds more highly skilled workers could lose their jobs if a solution was not found.

The issue of immediate concern is the possible closer of the REC Silicon manufacturing facility, they said. "The closure will result in the loss of 150-200 highly skilled manufacturers and will severely impact the economy of Eastern Washington," said the letter, signed by Senator Patty Murray and Senator Maria Cantwell and Congressmen Dan Newhouse, Dave Reichert and Denny Heck.

"We strongly encourage your trade negotiators to raise the issues facing the US polysilicon industry, and we request a progress report on these negotiations as soon as possible," the letter reads. "We believe a resolution over solar panels and polysilicon could serve as a symbol of good faith on both sides, protect intellectual property that provides domestic manufacturers a competitive edge, and spark meaningful progress in the larger trade negotiations between the US and China," the lawmakers said.

Separately, Congressman Adam Smith said the tariffs on China are already having negative impacts. "I stand in firm opposition to these plans and believe that our focus must be instead an economic policy that benefits workers and ensures that all folks are paid at least $15 per hour," he said.

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Updated Date: Sep 22, 2018 13:15:54 IST

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