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Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Officials in Arlington County, Virginia Tuesday laid out details of the deal that will give Amazon incentives to bring its headquarters expansion to the Washington, D.C. suburb.

Why it matters: A vote by the Arlington County Board on the draft deal approaches amid mounting scrutiny of financial incentives promised for corporate expansions. A political backlash to Amazon's planned office in New York — announced as a pair with Virginia's — already caused the company to back out.

The bottom line: The deal includes the expected estimated $23 million in financial incentives — and seems unlikely to quell activist fears that the county is making huge concessions to Amazon, while getting little in return.

Details: The agreement is between Amazon, Arlington County and the county's economic development organization. The bulk of the incentives for the project are coming from the state of Virginia, and have already been approved.

The draft deal, first reported by the Washington Post, includes:

  • A system by which Amazon will receive a portion of any increase in a tax on travelers in hotels or other lodging for 15 years.
  • To receive the benefit, Amazon has to occupy a certain square footage of office space, with the target increasing each year until 2035.
  • The deal also includes a confidentiality clause that gives Amazon advance notice of public records requests.

Yes, but: The agreement gives no indication that the county will insist Amazon meet demands from critics, like dictating conditions for construction workers on the project or abandoning the work it does for Immigrations and Customs Enforcement.

  • "I would have liked the board to have gotten some commitments from Amazon, and it’s shocking that they get nothing from Amazon," said Roshan Abraham, a member of the steering committee of progressive group Our Revolution Arlington. "This is very much a one-way deal where all Amazon has to do is show up."
  • Amazon declined to comment.

The chairman of the Arlington County Board told the Post that the body could still push the company to make concessions — but not in the incentives agreement. (There are also limitations on what the county government can mandate here, he said.)

What's next: The board is expected to vote on the proposal on March 16.

Go deeper: Read the draft agreement

Go deeper

Scoop: Trump-backed Perdue says he wouldn’t have certified Georgia 2020 results

Perdue at a December 2020 campaign event in Columbus, Ga. Photo: Elijah Nouvelage/Getty Images

Georgia gubernatorial candidate David Perdue wouldn’t have signed the certification of the state’s 2020 election results if he had been governor at the time, the former Senate Republican told Axios.

  • “Not with the information that was available at the time and not with the information that has come out now. They had plenty of time to investigate this. And I wouldn’t have signed it until those things had been investigated and that’s all we were asking for," he said.

Why it matters: There has been no evidence widespread fraud took place in Georgia's elections last year and the November results were counted three times, once by hand.

Beijing Olympics: These countries have announced diplomatic boycotts

Photo: Zhang Qiang/VCG via Getty Images

Several countries, including Canada and Australia, have announced they will join the U.S. in a diplomatic boycott of the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics to protest human rights abuses committed by China's government.

Driving the news: Leaders have faced pressure from human rights groups and others to boycott the Games, pointing to the ongoing genocide of Uyghurs and other Muslim minorities in China's Xinjiang region and other abuses.

Biden directs federal government to become carbon neutral by 2050

President Biden speaking to reporters outside of the White House on Dec. 8.

President Biden signed an executive order Wednesday that requires the federal government achieve multiple goals related to reducing its carbon emissions, including achieving net-zero emissions by 2050.

Why it matters: Meeting the objectives of the order would require a massive investment by the federal government to buy electric vehicles, upgrade buildings and change how it procures electricity.