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Newhouse, Murray Lead Bipartisan, Bicameral Call for Trade Settlement with China on U.S. Polysilicon

October 28, 2015
Press Release
Members of both parties urge quick and cooperative final negotiated settlement

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Rep. Dan Newhouse (R-WA) and U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), joined by Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-WA), Rep. Rick Larsen (D-WA), and Rep. Dave Reichert (R-WA) wrote today to Ambassador Cui Tiankai of China to express deep concern over the still-unresolved trade dispute between the U.S. and the People’s Republic of China involving Chinese-produced photovoltaic solar cells and modules and U.S.-produced polysilicon. The Members urged a prompt, mutually-agreeable settlement of the trade dispute to restore meaningful market access for U.S. polysilicon manufacturers exporting their products to Chinese customers.

“The lack of progress toward a resolution for U.S. polysilicon that restores meaningful market access to China for U.S. polysilicon producers jeopardizes a potential resolution for Chinese solar panel producers,” the Members wrote. “The [United States Trade Representative] Ambassador Michael Froman has repeatedly expressed to [the China Ministry of Commerce Minister] Gao Hucheng that the U.S. government will not agree to a settlement for Chinese solar panel manufacturers without a simultaneous settlement for U.S. polysilicon. In other words, as both Minister Gao and Ambassador Froman have agreed, there must be a ‘package deal’ or there will be no deal at all. We stand firmly behind Ambassador Froman’s continuing efforts to resolve this issue.”

The Members continued in the letter:

“We believe the [China Ministry of Commerce Minister] and USTR have the ability to reach a mutually-agreeable settlement that reduces market distortions and restores predictability in trading conditions between industries in our two countries. We are concerned that if the two sides do not achieve a settlement soon, market conditions will change yet again, and a settlement will remain elusive. We urge you to ensure MOFCOM works quickly and cooperatively to reach a final negotiated settlement of both the solar panel and polysilicon matters.”

The letter was also signed by U.S. Senators Lamar Alexander (R-TN), Bob Corker (R-TN), Steve Daines (R-MT), Gary Peters (D-MI), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Jon Tester (D-MT) and Reps. Scott  DesJarlais (R-LA), Chuck Fleischmann (R-TN), John Moolenaar (R-MI), and Ryan Zinke (R-MT).

See below or click here for the text of the letter.

               

October 28, 2015

 

The Honorable Cui Tiankai

Ambassador

Embassy of the People’s Republic of China

3505 International Place, N.W.

Washington, D.C. 20008

 

Dear Ambassador Cui,

We write today to express our deep concern over the still unresolved trade dispute between the United States and the People’s Republic of China involving Chinese-produced photovoltaic solar cells and modules and U.S.-produced polysilicon. It is troubling that this significant trade irritant affecting the solar industry, which is so important to both the U.S. and China, remains unresolved, despite significant efforts by solar panel producers in both countries, U.S. polysilicon producers, the China Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) and the United States Trade Representative (USTR).

The lack of progress toward a resolution for U.S. polysilicon that restores meaningful market access to China for U.S. polysilicon producers jeopardizes a potential resolution for Chinese solar panel producers. The USTR Ambassador Michael Froman has repeatedly expressed to MOFCOM Minister Gao Hucheng that the U.S. government will not agree to a settlement for Chinese solar panel manufacturers without a simultaneous settlement for U.S. polysilicon. In other words, as both Minister Gao and Ambassador Froman have agreed, there must be a “package deal” or there will be no deal at all. We stand firmly behind Ambassador Froman’s continuing efforts to resolve this issue.

Industries in both countries stand to benefit greatly from a mutually-agreeable settlement of this trade dispute that restores meaningful market access both for Chinese solar panel manufacturers exporting their products to the U.S. and for U.S. polysilicon manufacturers exporting their products to their Chinese customers. Indeed, a prompt settlement of this dispute will repair and deepen economic ties between our two nations in a global industry that is playing a critical role developing clean, renewable energy sources.

We believe the MOFCOM and USTR have the ability to reach a mutually-agreeable settlement that reduces market distortions and restores predictability in trading conditions between industries in our two countries. We are concerned that if the two sides do not achieve a settlement soon, market conditions will change yet again, and a settlement will remain elusive. We urge you to ensure MOFCOM works quickly and cooperatively to reach a final negotiated settlement of both the solar panel and polysilicon matters.

Sincerely,