March 18, 2019
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Federal Issues

Bipartisan group of Washington's congressional delegation push president to solve China trade dispute

Washington’s senators and two members of Congress are urging the presidential administration to make a deal with China that to protect the state’s polysilicon industry, and the good jobs that go with it.

“We are writing to follow up on our previous letters to again emphasize the importance of immediately resolving China’s retaliatory duties on U.S. polysilicon exports as part of the on-going negotiations with the Government of China,” the delegation wrote to U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer.

China placed tariffs on polysilicon materials in 2014, the letter explains, which are a key component needed to produce semiconductors, solar panels and more. This was in retaliation for U.S. tariffs that were previously placed on energy products from China.

“The move effectively locked U.S. polysilicon manufacturers out of the market, forcing the closure of REC Silicon at its Moses Lake plant, which relied on Chinese imports of polysilicon materials,” according to a press release from the senators.

The company is under “tremendous financial pressure,” the letter continued, and layoffs are “increasingly apparent.”

“It is therefore critical that the reopening of the Chinese market to U.S. polysilicon exports is included in any trade agreement that is concluded with the Government of China,” the letter continues.

The Wall Street Journal reported the latest on the U.S.-China trade negotiations earlier this month. Contact Amy Anderson, AWB government affairs director for federal issues, to learn more.

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Competitiveness Matters

State won 'economic lottery;' it doesn't need new taxes

By Kris Johnson and Steve Mullin

Imagine winning the lottery tomorrow. You'd have $10 million to spend on whatever you wanted in an instant.

Of course, the prudent thing would be to get a financial adviser and plan for the future. Ensure you have a strong foundation and adequate savings, then decide what you can splurge on. This scenario is not unlike the position our state finds itself in after years of economic recovery and expansion.

Economic and tax revenue growth in Washington state has been extraordinary over the last decade.

So much so that state and local tax growth in Washington was the highest in the nation from 2015 to 2016. The state expects tax collections will top $50 billion for the first time during the next two-year budget cycle. That's $4 billion more than the last cycle and nearly $11 billion more than it had in 2015-17.

Washington has leveraged this growth to invest in important programs, dramatically increasing state funding for public education, for example.

But we need to recognize that this lottery-like period of growth is far from normal. And it has come at a time when Washington also steadily increased the cost of doing business here...

Read the guest commentary in The (Everett) Herald
Competitiveness Matters

Former Rep. Chandler: Inslee threat to prosperity

By Charles H. Featherstone in The Columbia Basin Herald

MOSES LAKE -- Gary Chandler has a message for Gov. Jay Inslee.

"Don't take away our opportunity to be competitive."

The drive for 100 percent clean energy would deprive the Pacific Northwest of its competitive edge on power prices, and the governor's proposed $4 billion in new taxes would hit the state's small business people particularly hard, Chandler said.

"The economy is good, but the economy is starting to slow," Chandler said. "Don't spend everything, don't tax everything."

Read the full story about Chandler's recent talk in The Columbia Basin Herald
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