Trade and environmental battles taking their toll on 13th District

Sen. Judy Warnick, R-Moses Lake offered this statement in response to REC Silicon’s announcement that it is suspending operations until at least June:


“REC Silicon is a major employer in our community and news of their closure is going to have a significant impact, even though it may be temporary,” said Warnick. “People who rely on these family-wage jobs will be deeply affected. Unfortunately, as I and other members of the Senate Ways and Means Committee were recently told, there is very little help for state employers and displaced employees to turn to in this situation. As a result, some 500 people will lose their jobs for months as trade wars over environmental policy between the U.S. and China continue.


“Although I cannot solve the larger challenges posed by tariffs and international politics, I am very concerned for our community and frustrated at the results. In addition, the pressure of increased state regulations makes the decision easier for businesses to relocate or close their Washington operations in a globally competitive market. Our state’s trade dependence and eye toward international business makes Washington an attractive location, but the threats of punitive state environmental regulations to deal with a global problem won’t help.


“I understand Governor Inslee has pledged to continue conversations with the Chinese and U.S. governments to resolve their disputes over silicon tariffs.  I support those efforts and will work with him for a speedy resolution to this critical situation being faced by our Moses Lake area families.


Click here to watch the recent Senate Ways and Means discussion on the state response to layoff aversion.


Click here to read the press release from REC Silicon on its planned curtailment.