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Hasbro's CEO Brushes Off Border Tax Concerns

Hasbro's CEO Brushes Off Border Tax Concerns

Toymaker Hasbro, Inc. (NASDAQ: HAS) has seen its stock soar more than 25 percent since the start of 2017 and is trading near its all-time highs of $98.76. On Thursday the company's CEO Brian Goldner was a guest on CNBC's "Squawk Box" segment to offer his take on President Trump's proposed border tax.

First, Goldner noted that a border tax shouldn't be viewed simply by itself as it is likely to be accompanied by a reduction in corporate tax rates. Second, he suggested that a border tax isn't anything new or unique to a company and as comparable to currency fluctuations across the world or new tariffs in foreign markets.

"Over the last couple of years, you've seen these huge currency fluctuations, you've seen in Brazil there is a 35 percent tariff on the importation of products — and we have dealt with that to maintain our gross margins," the executive touted.

Goldner continued that Hasbro is prepared to re-design and innovative its product line in preparation for any border tax. He emphasized the fact that many of Hasbro's games are already manufactured inside the United States and the company already has plans to bring back its Play-Doh manufacturing to the United States after the segment recorded its best performance in 60 years.

Related Link: Retail CEOs Short On Details After Trump Visit

'Cry Baby Retailers'?

Joe Kernen, the co-host of "Squawk Box," pointed out that Goldner's calm approach to the proposed border tax is in contrast with the answers given by a plethora of "cry baby retailers."

Goldner responded that his management team merely thinks "about things holistically" and the approach to combating a border tax, currency fluctuations or tariffs in key markets is to get the entire team in sync from supply chain to marketing.

In fact, despite heavy tariffs in Brazil, Hasbro boasts better financial metrics over its peers and the business is growing by the double digits.

"The key is visibility," Goldner concluded on the topic of the proposed border tax. "We need to have visibility to the future. Once you have visibility, you can plan your business."


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