For the past several months, cities throughout North America – 19 in the U.S., plus Toronto, Ottawa and other Canadian hubs – have directly or indirectly made entreaties to Amazon in hopes that the e-commerce giant will establish its second headquarters within their borders. Recently, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau reportedly added his voice to the chorus of advocates for Canada in a visit with CEO Jeff Bezos, hoping to bring tens of thousands of IT and e-commerce jobs to the dominion, according to Reuters.
Trudeau’s publicly stated purpose for the visit, part of a three-day trip during the week of Feb. 5, was drumming up support for the North American Free Trade Agreement. The multinational economic treaty is currently enmeshed in renegotiation talks that have sometimes been contentious.
However, the PM’s prior efforts to promote Canada as ideal for what Amazon is calling “HQ2” are well-documented, including an official letter sent to Bezos upon Amazon’s announcement of the second-headquarters initiative. Trudeau’s press secretary, Eleanore Catenaro, did not name names but confirmed in an interview with the Toronto Star that the PM would meet a wide variety of entrepreneurs, CEOs and other business leaders from the U.S. tech sector on his trip.
Cameron Ahmad, a spokesman for Trudeau, didn’t directly speak to the Amazon visit, which took place Feb. 8 in San Francisco, but commented more generally on the PM’s goals.
“The point of those meetings is to portray Canada as a good place to invest … and to explore opportunities related to job growth with those prominent business leaders who may be interested in expanding their operations in Canada,” Ahmad said, according to Reuters.
Wherever the HQ2 facility is eventually established, Reuters reported that Amazon projects to create 50,000 new jobs and invest $5 billion in that metropolitan area as a direct result of its efforts.