Amazon, the next billion-dollar tech firm announced the list of 20 finalist cities to be in the race of hosting the company’s second global headquarters. Going through the list, one city that is being considered strongly outside America’s borders is Toronto.
There are a number of cities that are trying to attract the Seattle-based online retail store with many subsidies incorporating New Jersey, Newark, Maryland, and Montgomery Country. The tax-break package ($5 billion) of these subsidies is almost equal to the amount the company is going to invest in its HQ2 and the Toronto’s bid is exclusive for providing zero public subsidies.
That is a commendable step to take by the city. Toronto is so sure in its bid that it is far better than most of the American cities in the race. The city also feels that there is no need to improve the deal. Most of the companies already involved in the technology business also believe this city to be one of the topmost places on the earth to set up your tech business. Whether this city is selected to host Amazon’s second global headquarters or not, Canada will definitely be the next birthplace of the Amazon.
The reason behind this certainty is quite simple and that is the technology domain is driven by the human talent, which includes lateral thinkers who work on the problems with deep understanding and ingenuity. This human talent is both local and global. Any city can become a player in the technology domain by having institutions and local universities that funnel well-trained graduates into the workforce. However, one can also hire this talent from other countries. After searching the best human talent to deal with the challenges a company is facing, they need to be able to easily transfer them to their base of operations.
The aforementioned description of the human talent goes well when it comes to America’s leading innovation and technology centers, which are Seattle, Boson, Silicon Valley, and New York. However, the Trump administration’s obsessive changes made with the immigration, mainly its transition to the H1-B visa program for the very talented and skilled workers that are also being supported by the tech industry, has affected U.S cities’ global benefit.
Last year, the United States temporarily stopped the topmost processing program for H1-B visas, which is a business-centric service that increased the approvals process in the swap for a fee. Recently, America’s Department of Homeland Security has also released a statement that it is planning to cancel out a rule that is the spouses of H1-B visa holders cannot work in the US. This is a big move that may discourage extremely skilled workers from settling up in the U.S.
Rumors are also there that the U.S govt. may also deny extensions to the H1-B visa holders while they are waiting to get their green card, which will force them to go back home while they wait. All these amendments have brought a big chill in America’s tech domain.
The San Francisco-based job searching website Hired as also released a data and according to that the U.S companies’ internet in getting the workforce from other countries declined by 37% in the 2nd quarter of the last year as compared to 2016. Even the foreign employees’ keenness to interview with those companies has also decreased by 4%.
In short, companies are now less sure of their chances to search and hire employees globally and the employees all over the globe are also considering America as a less attractive destination for work. The employees want to work at the places where their talent is valued and appreciated.
On the other hand, Canada is putting all its efforts into attracting the skilled workforce from the other countries. The Canadian government’s Global Skills Strategy that has been brought into effect in June 2017 offers work permit for the highly skilled employees in only two weeks. As compared to America’s typical six-month wait to get H1-B status.
The Canadian government is also investing in higher education and research in the STEM disciplines. They are also bringing back artificial intelligence research via Toronto’s Vector Institute. The govt. also offers generous tax credits for experimental development and scientific research. All these may be the reasons why Amazon is considering Toronto to be its second global headquarters.