President Donald Trump said Amazon’s decision to pull out of a 25,000-person New York office was “a big loss” for the city.
Speaking to reporters Friday, Trump appeared sympathetic to Amazon’s position, which is rare for a president who has excoriated the corporation and its CEO, Jeff Bezos.
“I think it’s a big loss for New York City,” he said. “It’s a kind of thinking that our country’s going to on the left, on the radical left but ultimately, it’s not good for jobs. It’s not good for the economy.”
On Feb. 14, Amazon canceled plans to build a giant office in Queens, which would have been one half of the second headquarters the company has been planning for more than a year. The other half will still be built in Northern Virginia.
“While polls show that 70% of New Yorkers support our plans and investment, a number of state and local politicians have made it clear that they oppose our presence and will not work with us to build the type of relationships that are required to go forward with the project we and many others envisioned in Long Island City,” Amazon said in its announcement.
A federal lawmaker from New York is also taking heat for her role in the collapsed deal. Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who represents a district near the Amazon’s planned office, celebrated the news as a victory.
“Anything is possible: today was the day a group of dedicated, everyday New Yorkers & their neighbors defeated Amazon’s corporate greed, its worker exploitation, and the power of the richest man in the world,” she said in a tweet.
Trump did say that he thought New York “could have made a better deal” but also criticized opponents of the project for misrepresenting about $3 billion in government subsidies Amazon was eligible for as part of the agreement.
“The $3 billion wasn’t a check, it was a form of taxes over a period of time that now they’ll never see because they were going to take in a lot of jobs,” he said.