Here’s how a freight railroad strike will disrupt most everything you take for granted

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Car buyers might not get the vehicle they want on time, commuter rail lines could see service disrupted, and shipments from everything from oil to livestock feed could be snarled.

Those are just a few of the wide-ranging impacts a walkout by U.S. rail workers would have on the country’s industries and economy. A strike could happen if the railroads and unions can’t settle their differences before an early Friday walkout deadline.

A strike by railroad workers would have wide-ranging impact on consumers, commuters and businesses. That’s why business groups are telling Congress to block a strike if necessary.

And the Biden administration on Wednesday continued to put pressure on the railroads and unions to settle their differences.

So how did negotiations in the freight-rail industry get to this breaking point? Here are some questions people are likely to have about the standoff, along with answers about what it means for the economy. And learn how some industries are gauging the potential impacts and getting ready for the possible work stoppage.