Amazon said Tuesday it will shut down its e-commerce fulfillment warehouse in Canada in 2020, despite assurances from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau that the company would reopen.
Trudeau, who took office on a pledge to build a more competitive e-tailer, also said Amazon would reopen its warehouse in the U.S. by the end of 2019.
“It will reopen in the second half of 2019 and the second quarter of 2020,” Trudeau told reporters during a visit to Amazon’s Seattle headquarters.
“We’re going to make sure that Amazon’s ecommerce marketplace is up and ready to go.”
He said he believes Prime’s new strategy will drive the company to be “the best ecommerce business in the world.”
Trudeau has vowed to expand Amazon’s business and bring more jobs to Canada, a country that has been struggling with a steady decline in employment.
Trudeau also pledged during the election campaign to increase tax incentives for small businesses and invest in the economy, and to open a border-free border with the U., the country of origin of Amazon’s biggest export.
In an email to CBC News, Amazon said its Canadian warehouses were closed as a precautionary measure, and that it will be reopening in the fall.
Trudeau’s office did not respond to requests for comment.
Trudeau made a similar pledge during the campaign, promising to open Canada’s borders to Amazon.
But Trudeau’s government has been slow to move forward with the plan, saying it has not received any formal request from Amazon to reopen its eCommerce warehouses.
He has also faced criticism from the public over his handling of the wildfires in the country’s western provinces.
In a statement, the Prime Minister’s Office said that the announcement by Amazon follows “the government’s ongoing discussions with Amazon regarding its logistics, fulfillment and shipping operations in Canada.”
“The Government of Canada has been working closely with Amazon over the last few months on a number of initiatives to enhance and strengthen our supply chain and strengthen Canadian businesses and Canadians,” the statement said.
“As Prime Minister, I look forward to continuing this collaboration and working with Prime Minister Trudeau to improve Canada’s economy and prosperity for all Canadians.”