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Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos. Photo: Drew Angerer / Getty Images

Government transparency activists are complaining local governments won't make public details of the tax-break and incentive packages they are offering to entice Amazon to bring its new headquarters to their jurisdictions.

"More than 15 states and cities, including Chicago, Cleveland and Las Vegas, refused requests from The Associated Press to detail the promises they made to try to lure the company, " reports the AP.

State and local government leaders argue that making their offers public puts them in a bad negotiating position, with one telling the AP that their offer is a "trade secret."

  • "It's all paid for by taxpayer dollars," Greg LeRoy, head of Good Jobs First, told the newswire. "Therefore, it should all be public."

Not all governments are refusing to make their offers public, as states and cities like New Jersey and Houston have disclosed their $7 billion and $268 million packages, respectively.

Why it matters: The complaints add another wrinkle to debate over whether Corporate America has an unfair advantage when negotiating tax benefits that forces small businesses and workers to finance a rising share government spending.

Go deeper

Scoop: U.S. begins denying Afghan immigrants

Afghan refugees on a bus bound for temporary housing after arriving in Greece. Photo: Byron Smith/Getty Images

The Biden administration has begun issuing denials to Afghans seeking to emigrate to the United States through the humanitarian parole process, after a system that typically processes 2,000 applications annually has been flooded with more than 30,000.

Why it matters: Afghans face steeper odds and longer processes for escaping to the U.S., despite the earlier sweeping efforts by the Biden administration to assist its allies. Immigration lawyers and advocacy groups say the government has set untenable barriers to a safe haven in the U.S.

40 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Dems invoke Robert Byrd to sell Manchin on Senate rules changes

Photo illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios. Photos: Diana Walker, Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

A small group of Senate Democrats is privately invoking the legacy of late West Virginia Sen. Robert Byrd in an effort to sway Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) to support their plans to change the chamber's rules, Axios has learned.

Why it matters: Manchin — who holds Byrd's Senate seat — has often referenced his predecessor's strong moral conviction and insistence on preserving the Senate as an institution, as justification for some of his tough positions.

House votes to ban imports from Xinjiang over forced labor concerns

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Photo: Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

The House voted 428-1 on Wednesday to pass a bill that would ban all imports from the Chinese region of Xinjiang unless the U.S. government determines that the products were not made with forced labor.

Why it matters: Both the Trump and Biden administrations, as well as several foreign parliaments, have recognized China's repression of Uyghurs and other Muslim minorities in Xinjiang as genocide.