Lawmakers send letter to Amazon CEO to consider bringing second headquarters to PA

The days shopping tax-free with Amazon are coming to an end.

WASHINGTON DC — Governor Tom Wolf, United States Senators Bob Casey and Patrick Toomey and 16 House members sent a letter to Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos expressing their collective support and urging the electronic commerce and cloud computing company to consider bringing their second headquarters to Pennsylvania.

“With more than 200 years of revolutionary industry and intellect, dating back to the birth of our country, Pennsylvania has become a hub for trailblazers and innovative ideas, resulting in longstanding, successful legacies that are now common household names across the United States,” the letter states.  “As you continue to deliberate on the placement of HQ2, we ask that you consider Pennsylvania as a leading candidate based on the many strengths that have been outlined in our letter.”

The house members include: Robert Brady, Dwight Evans, Mike Kelly, Scott Perry, Glenn Thompson, Ryan Costello, Patrick Meehan, Brian Fitzpatrick, Bill Shuster, Tom Marino, Lou Barletta, Keith Rothfus, Brendan Boyle, Charlie Dent, Lloyd Smucker and Matthew Cartwright

Read the full letter below:

We write today to express our collective support for the placement of Amazon’s second company headquarters (HQ2) in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. The Keystone State possesses a uniquely fertile business landscape: world-renowned academic institutions, a dedicated highly-skilled workforce, natural and energy resources, well-positioned commercial corridors, existing supply chain infrastructure, a stable business-friendly environment, and most importantly an existing relationship with Amazon and significant Amazon presence. For these reasons, we urge you to seriously consider placing this investment within Pennsylvania.

With more than 200 years of revolutionary industry and intellect, dating back to the birth of our country, Pennsylvania has become a hub for trailblazers and innovative ideas, resulting in longstanding, successful legacies that are now common household names across the United States. For decades, the talented and highly-skilled workforce in Pennsylvania has designed, manufactured and distributed products that have directly contributed to building major global companies into American legacies. Throughout the Commonwealth, we have seen the resiliency and resourcefulness of Pennsylvania’s workers and industry. Not only are our workers the backbone of Pennsylvania’s economy, the Commonwealth is further supported by our nearly 300 medical and educational institutions, which are training the next generation of leaders in technology, advanced manufacturing, biosciences, and research. Pennsylvania ranks among the top 4 states producing STEM graduates and is in the Top 10 states for STEM job leaders in the United States. From the life sciences to robotics and self-driving vehicles to advanced manufacturing, Pennsylvania’s technology industry is robust and supported by a thriving ecosystem of entrepreneurs, economic development partners, investors, and collaborative academic partnerships.

Pennsylvania is home to an incomparable network of critical infrastructure including three major ports, strategic access to markets, the seventh largest national network of interstate highways and freeways, a robust railroad network, six international airports, commercially important inland waterways, and warehouse and distribution hubs in the Northeast and South Central regions. Access to these resources plays a significant role in developing a high-functioning supply chain framework for industries that rely on efficient commercial transport of goods and products.

Pennsylvania also has a robust public transportation network that includes fixed-route transit service in Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, 21 urban areas, and 22 rural areas. Additionally, Pennsylvania has 44 systems offering shared-ride services in all 67 counties, 13 intercity bus routes, and access to Amtrak Keystone Corridor service, running from Harrisburg to New York by way of Philadelphia, and Pennsylvanian Amtrak service running from Pittsburgh to Philadelphia. In recent years, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) has committed millions of dollars to improving multimodal and intermodal transportation infrastructure across the state. These investments support improved transportation for residents, communities and businesses, as well as spur economic growth and sustainable business development. Furthermore, the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) has significant experience in business expansion and relocation, and has attracted and worked with interested businesses to ensure Pennsylvania is able to meet the specific needs of their industry.

In addition to providing expert expansion assistance, Pennsylvania offers the second lowest marginal personal income tax rate in the nation and the 9th lowest marginal tax rate overall. Our economy is the 19th largest in the world, with a GDP that is comparable to Turkey and larger than Saudi Arabia and Switzerland. In fact, Pennsylvania has the second most diverse economy in the U.S. and the 9th highest economic density in the country. Not only is Pennsylvania business-friendly, the Commonwealth is home to vibrant metropolitan hubs and charming towns with artistic and cultural attractions, state forests and heritage areas, national historical sites and memorials, and many other offerings that provide for diverse, fulfilling and livable communities. Pennsylvanians are proud to call the Commonwealth home.

We believe Pennsylvania would be an ideal location for Amazon’s HQ2. As you continue to deliberate on the placement of HQ2, we ask that you consider Pennsylvania as a leading candidate based on the many strengths that have been outlined in our letter. We encourage you to meet with Governor Wolf, all interested Pennsylvania stakeholders, City representatives and the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development to discuss all available state programs, incentives, and opportunities. We look forward to the opportunity to work with you to utilize any federal programs that may be relevant. If there is any way that we can be of assistance, please contact us directly or reach out to our staffs.

Thank you for your thoughtful consideration of our request.