WASHINGTON, Sept. 28, 2022 - The U.S. Freight Railcar Coupler Coalition, a coalition of U.S. freight railcar coupler manufacturer and workers, today filed petitions to counter unfairly traded imports that are injuring the American freight railcar coupler industry. The coalition filed the petitions with the U.S. Department of Commerce and the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) following years of significant volumes of unfairly priced imports of Chinese and Mexican freight railcar couplers. The petitions allege that the Chinese and Mexican industries are dumping freight railcar couplers in the United States, distorting the U.S. market and resulting in a significant loss of American jobs.
"The Chinese and Mexican industries' use of unfair pricing is hurting American companies and workers, as well as the communities in which they operate," said Daniel B. Pickard, Chair of the International Trade and National Security practice at Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney and lead counsel for the Freight Railcar Coupler Coalition. "The domestic industry is committed to combatting these unfair trade practices and ensuring that American manufacturing is able to compete on a level playing field. Foreign countries and producers that do not abide by international trade rules must be held accountable. Trade remedy measures that we hope result from the petitions filed today aim to do just that."
Antidumping and Countervailing Duties: Antidumping duties aim to offset the amount a product is sold at less than fair value, or "dumped," in the United States. The margin of dumping is calculated by the Department of Commerce. Estimated duties in the amount of the dumping are collected from importers at the time of importation. Countervailing duties are intended to offset unfair subsidies that a foreign government provides in the production of a particular good. The ITC, an independent agency, determines whether the domestic industry is materially injured or threatened with material injury by reason of the unfairly traded imports.
Freight Railcar Couplers: Freight railcar couplers are used to connect freight railcars together and absorb shock as the train brakes. Each railcar typically has two couplers – one in front and one in back. Couplers are primarily made of cast steel parts, including coupler bodies and knuckles.
The petitions were filed by the Freight Railcar Coupler Coalition, an ad hoc coalition of U.S. coupler producer/workers. The Coalition is represented by Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney PC.
Next Steps: The Department of Commerce will determine whether to initiate the investigations within 20 days of today's filing and the ITC will reach a preliminary determination of material injury or threat of material injury within 45 days. The entire investigative process will take approximately one year, with final determinations of dumping, subsidization, and injury likely occurring in late-2023. However, duties can attach to imports of the subject couplers as of the time of the preliminary determinations in the case.