Amazon Has Shortlisted 20 Cities to be the Second Headquarters (HQ2)

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The online retailing giant announced the finalists for its so-called HQ2 Thursday, a surprisingly long list of 20 cities and states culled from an unwieldy 238 that began the process. Well, his already notable dislike of Jeff Bezos and Amazon likely will only grow. The others are Columbus, Ohio; Montgomery County, Md.; Nashville, Tenn.; Newark, N.J.; Northern Virginia; and Raleigh, N.C. Toronto also is on the list.

There were lots of good bids, including Calgary's. "And though Vallejo was not chosen to move forward, the process of competing for Amazon was a really positive experience for our city".

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".

The rates in Canada and the US are now just about equal, at 26 to 27 per cent, when federal and provincial/state taxes are rolled in.

Amazon will be working with all 20 candidates in the coming months.

Toronto, a growing tech hub, was the only city outside the USA on the list.

Apple expects to pay about $38 billion in US tax on that money - far less than the bill would have been under earlier repatriation tax rates.

Toronto also touted diversity as one of its strengths alongside its lower business costs relative to similarly sized American competitors, expanding infrastructure and low crime rates.

Bids poured in from Canadian cities from coast to coast as both major urban centres like Montreal and Halifax vied with smaller dark-horse competitors such as Sault Ste. Toronto might be on the list only because it would have looked insulting to ignore Canada entirely.

That includes everything from bike lanes to fast Internet and mobile phone connections to "recreational opportunities", according to Amazon's request for proposals. Amazon was impressed with the only bid that appeared "non-governmental" - a high compliment, apparently.

"Otherwise, there are not too many surprises here", he told CNN Tech.

Baruah said, "I, its not my number to share. I think we went into this with our eyes wide open".

She added, rather provocatively, that Calgary has "the engineers of today, not tomorrow".

"I'm not totally disappointed". But many more are needed and the rebalancing will take years. But it was told the cities weren't big enough. Toronto made the list as well, keeping the company's global options open.

Ontario and Toronto are pouring hundreds of millions into training and research. "And they said they've got a whole new idea of Alberta and that Calgary did an excellent job".

Now comes the hard part for the finalists - and for Amazon.

In Calgary, we can now be pleased to come out of this with reputation enhanced and no further temptation to beg.

City leaders are not disclosing the sites that were offered in Denton.

But the opportunity for Virginia is not just the four sites the state pitched last fall in the Northern Virginia suburbs in an extraordinary economic development sweepstakes that Amazon launched on September 7.

Amazon now stands to reap US tax bonanzas both from Trump and a host of local governments.