Puerto Rico, which is still in shambles after it took an infrastructure-shattering direct hit from Hurricane Maria in September, has submitted a long-shot bid to host Amazon’s second headquarters.
According to Bloomberg, Economic Development and Commerce Department spokesman Ivan Caraballo Ortiz confirmed the commonwealth had proposed Amazon build its new facility at the site of the former Roosevelt Roads Naval Station, which is located on the easternmost point of the island in the municipality of Ceiba. It’s a long shot effort because the island is relatively isolated, has fragile infrastructure precariously supported by a government deep in financial crisis, and is struggling to recover amid a stark lack of support from the federal government.
Still, with 50,000 jobs and billions of dollars in investment on the line, it’s safe to say that a new Amazon HQ could really help Puerto Rico and the 3.4 million US citizens living there out, big time. And if Amazon’s going to build the thing, it might as well be in a place that didn’t come begging and pulling P.R. stunts, like pretty much every city in the US. But a Puerto Rico deal would require the e-retail giant to forgo some of the practically extortionate tax incentives and deferential treatment being offered by those same cities. In short, the prospects of this happening are contingent on Amazon going against its hyper-capitalist nature, making these long odds indeed.