November 12, 2021
News Release 21-130
Inv. No(s). 701-TA-670 and 731-TA-1570 (Preliminary)
Contact: Peg O'Laughlin, 202-205-1819
USITC Votes to Continue Investigations Concerning Freight Rail Coupler Systems and Components from China

The United States International Trade Commission (USITC) today determined that there is a reasonable indication that a U.S. industry is materially injured by reason of imports of freight rail coupler systems and components from China that are allegedly subsidized and sold in the United States at less than fair value.

Chair Jason E. Kearns, Vice Chair Randolph J. Stayin, and Commissioners David S. Johanson, Rhonda K. Schmidtlein, and Amy A. Karpel voted in the affirmative. 

As a result of the Commission’s affirmative determinations, the U.S. Department of Commerce will continue its investigations of imports of freight rail coupler systems and components from China, with its preliminary countervailing duty determination due on or about December 23, 2021, and its preliminary antidumping duty determination due on or about March 8, 2022.

The Commission’s public report Freight Rail Coupler Systems and Components from China (Inv. Nos. 701-TA-670 and 731-TA-1570 (Preliminary), USITC Publication 5243, November 2021) will contain the views of the Commission and information developed during the investigations.

The report will be available after December 13, 2021; when available, it may be accessed on the USITC website at:

Washington, DC 20436


Freight Rail Coupler Systems and Components from China
Investigation Nos. 701-TA-670 and 731-TA-1570 (Preliminary)

Product Description:  Freight rail coupler systems and components (“FRC”) are metal structures used to connect freight rail cars together. FRC are comprised of a system of four main metal components: knuckles, coupler bodies, coupler yokes, and follower blocks. Knuckles are typically metal castings in the shape of a hook that pivot on a vertical hinge between a "locked" and an "unlocked" position to allow for interlocking with knuckles of adjacent FRC. Coupler bodies are a metal casting that hold the knuckle and allow it to pivot. The coupler body fits within the coupler yoke, which is a metal casting that attaches the FRC to a freight car. The follower block is a rectangular piece of metal that separates the FRC with the adjacent draft gear of a freight car (designed to absorb some of the forces when connecting freight rail cars). FRC are designed to connect two freight cars together by automatically interlocking the knuckles of both FRC when the freight cars are pushed together.

Status of Proceedings:

1.   Type of investigations:  Preliminary countervailing duty and antidumping duty investigations.
2.   Petitioners:  McConway and Torley, LLC, Pittsburgh, PA; United Steel, Paper & Forestry, Rubber, Manufacturing, Energy, Allied Industrial and Service Workers International Union, Pittsburgh, PA.
3.   USITC Institution Date:  Wednesday, September 29, 2021.
4.   USITC Conference Date:  Wednesday, October 20, 2021.
5.   USITC Vote Date:  Friday, November 12, 2021.
6.   USITC Notification to Commerce Date:  Monday, November 15, 2021.

U.S. Industry in 2020:

1.   Number of U.S. producers:  3.
2.   Location of producers’ plants:  Illinois, Michigan, and Pennsylvania.
3.   Production and related workers:  [1]
4.   U.S. producers’ U.S. shipments:  1
5.   Apparent U.S. consumption:  1
6.   Ratio of subject imports to apparent U.S. consumption:  1

U.S. Imports in 2020:

1.   Subject imports:  1
2.   Nonsubject imports:  1
3.   Leading import sources:  China and Mexico.


[1] Withheld to avoid disclosure of business proprietary information.



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