Amazon.com Inc.’s inclusion of Toronto, the largest city in Canada on its list of 20 finalists for its second headquarters could increase tensions between the e-commerce behemoth and United States President Donald Trump.
On Thursday, Amazon said that Toronto as well as 19 places in the U.S. were amongst 20 that remained in the running for the second headquarters that Amazon promises to make an investment of at least $5 billion while creating 50,000 jobs.
In looking at Toronto, Amazon has to weigh if the advantages of including its immigration policy of Canada, top tech schools, along with universal healthcare outweigh the possible fury of Trump. The President has pressured U.S. companies to make investment at home.
An analyst in Canada said that consequences politically could be felt by Amazon if it decided to invest somewhere outside the U.S.
Trump has been critical of Jeff Bezos, the Amazon founder and the company in tweets that suggest the USPS should raise its rates for shipping for the retailer and has described the Washington Post, owned by Bezos, as a publisher of fake news.
On Thursday, Amazon said that it is expecting to make its decision in 2018. It is not clear how selecting Toronto may affect the trade relations that are becoming worse between Washington and Ottawa.
A member of the coalition that submitted the bid for Toronto said that international politics was Amazon’s to take care of. We, he added, are only going to put our best effort and offer forward and let the rest take care of itself.
Federal officials in Canada declined to talk about what steps Ottawa might take in campaigning for the country’s largest city or comment on the affect it could have with relations between Canada and the U.S.
Amazon is expanding already into one major city in Canada. In November, it unveiled its plans for opening another corporate office, its second, in Vancouver and doubling its staff there to over 2,000 by 2020.
Amazon disclosed it was contemplating increasing its investment within Canada one day after tech giant Apple said it was increasing its investment within the U.S. The maker of iPhones said it would open a second campus in the U.S., hire more than 20,000 people, while spending over $30 billion in its investment plan for the U.S. over five years.