World Bulletin / News Desk
The competition had been fierce, with 238 cities sending in proposals with tax incentives and unique offers to lure Amazon. There was a lot at stake, with the online retailer set to invest US$5 billion in the winning community and hire 50,000 people.
“Getting from 238 to 20 was very tough – all the proposals showed tremendous enthusiasm,” said Amazon Public Policy executive Holly Sullivan in a statement.
While Toronto is the lone Canadian city, a key member of the Toronto bid said that could work in its favor.
“Frankly, it’s helpful that we’ve now got it down to one city,” said Ed Clark, a former Toronto Dominion Bank CEO.
“We ought to have a Team Canada approach here, and so I think you have to make sure that the city, the province and the federal government are working hand-in-hand together to say, ‘Let’s have a win for Canada.’”
Another factor favoring Toronto may be that Amazon has been the target of criticism by U.S. President Donald Trump in tweets that include, “Amazon is doing great damage to tax paying retailers.”
Amazon owner Jeff Bezos also owns the New York Times, a news outlet that Trump has repeatedly criticized.
Amazon’s criteria for its new site included a city with at least one million residents and a diverse population. Seattle-based Amazon, which calls the project HQ2, did not state what would come next in the selection process.
Among the 19 American finalists are New York City, Los Angeles, Boston, Chicago, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C.