Niagara County will make bid for new, $5 billion Amazon site

FILE - This Sept. 6, 2012, file photo, shows the Amazon logo in Santa Monica, Calif. Amazon’s cloud-computing service Amazon Web Services experienced problems in its eastern U.S. region, Tuesday, Feb. 28, 2017, causing widespread problems for thousands of websites and apps. (AP Photo/Reed Saxon, File)

NIAGARA COUNTY, N.Y. (WIVB) – Niagara County will make a bid for a new Amazon site, the county announced Thursday in a statement.

Niagara County economic development officials will pitch a Niagara County location to the global commerce giant, pitching the county as an optimal site due to its proximity to the Canadian border, “an era when multilateral trade treaties are undergoing increasing scrutiny at the federal level”.

Niagara County Center for Economic Development’s staff have been directed to put their full attention toward developing a serious proposal “that leverages Niagara County’s very unique trade benefits” in response to Amazon’s plan to build a second, $5 billion headquarters in North America, a plan that was announced Thursday.

“With the NAFTA free trade pact under intense review by the Trump Administration, the rules underpinning global commerce, including bilateral trade with our largest trade partner, Canada, may change,” Economic Development Committee Chairwoman Kathryn Lance, R-Wheatfield, said. “Niagara County is unique in that it offers security for low-cost entry into foreign markets and a location in the Niagara-Buffalo Metro Region with its 1.1 million people.”

Lance pointed out that Niagara County is home to a Foreign Trade Zone, a legally defined piece of geography located adjacent to the Niagara Falls International Airport. The Foreign Trade Zone in Niagara County was authorized under a 1970s era U.S. law.

Legislature Majority Leader Randy R. Bradt, R-North Tonawanda, who is a member of the committee, pointed out the county’s relative close proximity to the Boston-New York-Washington corridor, just over 300 miles away, its 46 air miles or 81 road miles to Toronto, its 215 miles to Cleveland, and its 240 miles to Amazon’s massive distribution warehouse in Pittsburgh as selling points for the county.