On September 29, 2021, the Coalition of Freight Coupler Producers, consisting of Amsted Rail Company, Inc. and McConway & Torley LLC (“Petitioners”), filed petitions with the U.S. Department of Commerce (“Commerce”) and the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) seeking antidumping and countervailing duties on imports of freight rail coupler (FRC) systems and components from the People’s Republic of China (PRC). According to the petitions, freight rail coupler systems and components from the PRC are being sold at less than fair value in the United States and benefit from countervailable subsidies, causing material injury to the domestic FRC industry and threatening further material injury if trade remedy duties are not imposed. FRCs from the PRC are currently subject to a 25 percent Section 301 tariff.

FRC systems and components, including knuckles, coupler bodies, coupler yokes, and follower blocks, are mechanisms used to connect freight rail cars together and meet or exceed the Association of American Railroads (AAR) specifications of M211 “Foundry and Product Approval Requirements for the Manufacture of Couplers, Coupler Yokes, Knuckles, Follower Blocks, and Coupler Parts” and/or AAR M215 “Coupling Systems” or equivalent domestic or international standards. Please contact us for a copy of the proposed scope of the investigations.

In the petitions, the Petitioners allege that Chinese FRC producers are benefiting from more than 30 subsidy programs. The Petitioners also allege dumping margins ranging from 142.98 to 147.11 percent.

Commerce will determine by October 19, 2021, whether to formally initiate the investigations, and, if Commerce does, the ITC will decide 25 days after that whether there is a reasonable indication of existing material injury or threat of material injury to the domestic FRC industry and whether the investigations should be continued or terminated.