Hasbro: Tariffs could not come at a worse time for toy industry

6/24/2019 Hasbro

Yahoo Finance published an article this morning about the U.S. and Chinese trade war and how Hasbro believes that the impact will be felt across the entire toy industry. Here are some excerpts:

Hasbro (HAS), the company behind iconic toys and games like Monopoly and Play-Doh, says new tariffs could drive up the cost of toys, devastate the industry and lead to safety risks.

The toymaker is one of hundreds of companies that have been testifying in Washington over the past week, asking the Trump administration to spare them from the next round of tariffs.

Hasbro’s Chief Operating Officer, John Frascotti, is set to testify on Monday. In comments submitted ahead of the testimony, the company told United States Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer that 85% of all toys sold in the U.S. are imported from China.

Right now, toys and games are on the list of $300 billion worth of Chinese goods that could face tariffs of up to 25%. Hasbro argues the tariffs would cause “significant and disproportionate” economic harm to the toy industry and American families. The company estimates more tariffs could cut the toy industry’s contribution to the U.S. economy by $10.8 billion.

“This could not come at a worse time for our industry. We, and the U.S. toy industry overall, are facing serious headwinds from the recent bankruptcies of two major toy retailers, K-Mart and Toys ‘R’ Us, which have already put an estimated 30,000 U.S. jobs at risk,” said Kathrin Belliveau a senior vice president at Hasbro, in comments submitted to USTR ahead of the hearing. Belliveau said the tariffs would make things worse, and lead to potential job losses throughout the industry — including at Hasbro.

Mattel (MAT) also submitted comments to USTR, saying the tariffs would put American jobs at risk. “Although unskilled production operations typically occur in China, the U.S. toy, game and juvenile products industry maintains major product design, marketing and other key operations in the United States that would be negatively affected by tariffs on these product,” said Corinne Murat, Mattel’s director of government affairs, in the submitted comments.

Mattell said that in 2018, China accounted for $11.9 billion, or 84% of total U.S. imports of toys.

You can read the entire article on Yahoo Finance

Star Wars action figures in Hasbro's The Vintage Collection just recently saw a bump by one dollar from $12.99 to $13.99 on many online specialtiy fan shops. An increase by 25% would mean a single Vintage Collection 3.75" could cost as much as $17.48 and a single Black Series 6" figure which currently costs $19.99 could cost as much as $24.98. Would you be willing to pay that much for a single figure? 

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