Things have been pretty quiet on the Amazon HQ2 front. Earlier this year, the online retail giant announced that it had whittled the list of potential host cities for a second headquarters down to 20, but beyond that, the company hasn’t shared much. Looks like we’ll be getting an answer before end of year, however.
During a speech at the Economic Club of Washington this week, CEO Jeff Bezos said a decision will be made in 2018, though didn’t provide any insight into which way the company was leaning.
Cities around North America have been following all over themselves to win the bid, which Amazon says will bring 50,000 jobs and $5 billion in investment. The move comes as Seattle, the home of HQ1 has put the company under increased scrutiny. In July, Amazon helped kill a business tax designed to help fund low-income housing and homeless shelters.
Local tax breaks will no doubt be a deciding factor in where the company ultimately decides to set up shop.
Bezos in particular has also been the target of criticism on a national level. Last week, Senator Bernie Sanders introduced the Stop Bad Employers by Zeroing Out Subsidies (BEZOS) bill, designed to curb “corporate welfare.”
“Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon, is the wealthiest person on Earth, and since the beginning of this year, his wealth has increased by about $260 million every day,” Sanders’ office in a release around the bill. “Meanwhile, thousands of Amazon workers rely on food stamps because their wages are so low.”
Trump has also been critical of Bezos, albeit for very different reasons, as the Amazon founder also owns The Washington Post, a paper that’s released a number of high-profile bombshells about his administration.
Bezos took on Trump during the Economic Club of Washington address, stating, “it is really dangerous to demonize the media. It is dangerous to call the media lowlifes, it is dangerous to say that they are the enemy of the people.”