The State Department is blocking the release of email correspondence made by Hillary Clinton about the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) when she was the Secretary of State.
The correspondence was initially promised to be released in the spring—the State Department estimated that the emails would be released in April, but that date was moved back to November 31—a day that doesn’t exist. And if it did, it would be weeks after the general election.
The International Business Times requested in July 2015 the correspondence between Clinton’s State Department office and the United States Trade Representative. Specifically, the website asked for all such correspondence that made reference to the TPP between Jan. 20, 2009 and March 1, 2013.
The records of these correspondences are hoped to illuminate how much influence and support Clinton had while the trade deal was being finalized.
Avg FOIA request of State Dept – 111 days. But for info re Clinton/Pacific trade deal – 489 days…after election https://t.co/xCr8qqMN6Z
— Jake Tapper (@jaketapper) June 7, 2016
Clinton, until recently, has been supportive of the TPP trade deal, calling it the “the gold standard in trade agreements” in 2012, and according to CNN’s Jake Tapper, Clinton pushed for the trade deal 45 times before reforming her stance and coming out against the trade deal.
By October 2015, when asked by Anderson Cooper in a Democratic debate, she said she had “hoped it would be the gold standard.”
Facing pressure from Democratic rival Bernie Sanders in the short term, and Donald Trump in the long term, Clinton revised her stance. In a statement released on her website, the presumptive Democratic nominee wrote: “Based on what I know so far, I can’t support this agreement.”
“I still believe in the goal of a strong and fair trade agreement in the Pacific as part of a broader strategy both at home and abroad, just as I did when I was Secretary of State. I appreciate the hard work that President Obama and his team put into this process and recognize the strides they made. But the bar here is very high and, based on what I have seen, I don’t believe this agreement has met it.”
In February, Clinton further revised her relationship with the trade agreement, arguing that she didn’t fully support the agreement until it was finalized, and when it was finalized, she opposed it.
“I waited until it had actually been negotiated because I did want to give the benefit of the doubt to the (Obama) administration,” she said. “Once I saw what the outcome was, I opposed it.”