Montana Senators say trade war with China is hurting Butte


by John Sherer

Montana US Senators Jon Tester and John Walsh sent a letter to Vice President Joe Biden asking him to step in and settle a trade dispute with China. The Senators say the dispute is hurting a Butte business.

Tester and Walsh, say in the letter that the dispute over artificially low prices on Chinese solar products has led to a battle over tariffs. They note that the US is getting ready to raise tariffs again on Chinese solar products which they predict will lead to retaliation by China.

The battle affects products like the polysilicon made in Butte at REC Silicon.

The senators say the dispute, and tension over tariff’s could limit job growth and might even lead to job losses.
They are asking Biden to bring industry leaders together to work out a negotiated settlement and end the trade war.

“I applaud this strong effort by our Senators to seek a permanent solution in Washington to this devastating trade war,” said Rich Green, Director of Plant Operations at REC Silicon. “Bringing all the parties together to work towards a negotiated settlement is the only way to secure growth, jobs and the future of this incredibly promising industry.”

REC Silicon in Butte employs about 270 people producing solar-grade and electronic-grade polysilicon.