Ontario, Quebec more vulnerable to softwood duties this time: industry observers

MONTREAL - Canada's lumber industry is in a stronger position to weather a U.S. trade battle than it was during the last major clash a decade ago, but smaller Quebec and Ontario producers would be particularly vulnerable to duties that may arrive within weeks, industry observers say.

B.C. producers such as West Fraser Timber, Canfor and Interfor have hedged their bets, purchasing sawmills in the U.S. primarily in the years when there was a truce over softwood. They've also seen softwood exports to China grow, giving them some degree of protection against tariffs that the U.S. could impose as early as May.

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