SMA Statement on Potential Rail Strike

Washington DC – Today, the Steel Manufacturers Association (SMA) stated that a potential rail strike or work stoppage would negatively impact the shipment of finished and semi-finished steel products as well as steelmaking raw materials. “Our supply chains are stressed, and any disruption in freight rail service will hurt our economy by adding costs and delays to a rail service system that is already suffering from poor service,” said SMA president Philip K. Bell. A possible service slowdown or stoppage could occur as soon as this Friday. 

Bell added, “While we are hopeful that the carriers and unions will reach an agreement before Friday, the Biden administration and Congress must be prepared to prevent a shutdown of our rail system. There are many reasons for the freight rail challenges we face, but there are ways we can get better. One way is the passage of the Freight Rail Shipping Fair Market Act, H.R. 8649. This legislation makes market-based incentives and improvements, including enhancement of rail-to-rail competition and performance reciprocity when unreasonably poor rail service hurts shippers and American consumers. H.R. 8649 also clarifies that reasonable rail service is part of the common carrier obligation. Any interruption in freight rail service will be harmful to our nation’s competitiveness.”