He won’t take office for another week, but President-elect Trump’s administration has been happy to take credit for a number of job-creation stories, including, notably, a deal with Indiana-based HVAC manufacturer Carrier and Japanese telecom company SoftBank.
The Trump team’s latest bit of self-congratulation comes from something of an unexpected source. This week, Amazon announced plans to add 100,000 jobs in the U.S. over the course of the next 18 months. That number follows some 150,000 gigs created over the past five years.
It’s a big number, but not entirely surprising, given the rate at which Amazon has grown across a number of different verticals. In the release, CEO Jeff Bezos noted that the additions will come in fulfillment (shipping) centers, logistics, cloud technology and machine learning.
In spite of being frequently at odds with Bezos, Trump’s team was quick to take credit for the announcement, which falls inline with the president-elect’s promises to bring more jobs to the U.S.
Soon-to-be press secretary Sean Spicer told the media on a call earlier today:
The announcement was made after the president-elect met with heads of several other tech companies and urged them to keep their jobs and production inside the United States. The president-elect was pleased to have played a role in that decision by Amazon.
Spicer’s comment is a reference to a recent meeting at Trump Tower that included Bezos, a frequent target of Trump’s ire. At various times in the lead up to the election, Trump referred to Bezos’ “huge antitrust problem,” called Amazon a “big tax shelter” and threatened “such problems” for the company, were he to be elected.
Bezos for his part, once winkingly offered to send Trump to space.
While there is seemingly no love lost between the billionaires, Bezos attempted to strike a reconciliatory — or at least hopeful — tone during his meeting with Trump, afterwards telling press:
I found today’s meeting with the president-elect, his transition team, and tech leaders to be very productive. I shared the view that the administration should make innovation one of its key pillars, which would create a huge number of jobs across the whole country, in all sectors, not just tech — agriculture, infrastructure, manufacturing — everywhere.
Amazon has certainly sent out similar press releases touting its growth, but the timing does seem beneficial for the Trump team. We’ve reached out to the company for comment on Spicer’s claims surrounding the president-elect’s role in the announcement.