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Best Buy CEO sees need to reform taxes and NAFTA; wants permanent solution for 'dreamers'

  • Best Buy CEO Hubert Joly participated in talks between retail CEOs and political leaders in Washington as they fought against a border adjustment tax.
  • Joly told CNBC he remains "very much at the table" for future talks.
  • He would like to see lower corporate taxes, some changes to NAFTA and a permanent solution for "dreamers," undocumented immigrants who were brought to the U.S. as children.
Hubert Joly, CEO, Best Buy
Scott Eells | Bloomberg | Getty Images
Hubert Joly, CEO, Best Buy

Best Buy CEO Hubert Joly said the consumer electronics retailer is "very much at the table" when it comes to talks about tax reform in Washington.

Joly was part of a group of retail CEOs who were speaking somewhat regularly to political leaders earlier this year as the industry rallied against the proposed Border Adjustment Tax. Retailers had pushed back on the proposal, as it would have levied a tax on almost all imports, which would have forced many to raise prices.

While the so-called BAT is off the table, Joly remains part of the tax reform conversation.

Noting Best Buy's 36 percent tax rate, Joly said he wants a lower corporate tax for his company's sake and corporate America in general.

"My view is that the savings, the tax savings, will be reinvested in jobs, in investments, and get the country moving forward, and create opportunities for a wide variety of Americans," Joly said in an exclusive CNBC interview.

Joly is French and runs a business headquartered in the U.S., with operations in Canada and Mexico. That makes both the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program and the North American Free Trade Agreement key items for Joly both personally and professionally.

He said NAFTA should be modernized, as "there are topics that didn't exist 20 years ago that need to be included."

Earlier this month, Joly signed a letter along with more than 350 other business leaders calling on President Donald Trump and Congress to pass legislation to permanently prevent the 800,000 so-called dreamers — undocumented immigrants who came to the U.S. as youth — from being deported.

"We need to find a permanent solution for [the 'dreamers']. Also from an economic standpoint, it makes a lot of sense. These are hard-working people who contribute to the economy," Joly said.

"I'm really hopeful that people will find a permanent solution to this ... issue. We need to do this."

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