Amazon NYC HQ2 decision disappointing: Robert Wolf
Amazon canceled plans to bring its HQ2 and 25,000 new high-paying jobs to New York City, but former UBS Chairman Robert Wolf argues bringing new business to a city is actually a good thing.
Amazon’s decision to cancel its plans to bring a second headquarters and 25,000 new high-paying jobs to New York City is upsetting to Robert Wolf, who formerly served as Chairman and CEO of UBS Americas.
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“I’m disappointed. I think it would have been good for the city, good for the state,” he told FOX Business’ David Asman on “Cavuto: Coast-to-Coast” on Thursday. “I understand the whole argument of why people are yelling about corporate welfare but they only get those tax credits if they hit certain hurdles. So it was not a free lunch like everyone was talking about it.”
The Seattle-based company’s HQ2, which was to be built in the Long Island City neighborhood of Queens, faced a slew of opposition over its up to $3 billion worth of tax incentives from the city and state. However, a recent poll by Siena College Research Institute revealed that 56 percent of New Yorkers approved of the deal. Wolf, who also received tax credits when he ran UBS in Stamford, Connecticut, said although there may be hurdles, bringing business to the city is a “good thing.”
“But there’s a real debate because you have other companies like Google who didn’t get those tax credits,” he said. “So you know my view is the city loses on this because it's 25,000 more jobs and they are high-paying jobs. I think that to keep the city vibrant we need to make sure we are always getting the best companies.”
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The e-commerce giant said in a statement that the “commitment to build a new headquarters requires positive, collaborative relationships with state and local elected officials ” that are willing to give the company long-term support.
“We are disappointed to have reached this conclusion,” the company said in a blog post. “We love New York, its incomparable dynamism, people, and culture — and particularly the community of Long Island City, where we have gotten to know so many optimistic, forward-leaning community leaders, small business owners, and residents.”
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