State Dept blocks release of Hillary's TPP emails until after election

The United States State Department will block the release of any emails from Hillary Clinton while she served as Secretary of State related to the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal until after November’s presidential election.

The emails were requested in a Freedom of Information Act request from International Business Times. They report:

The State Department originally said it estimated the request would be completed by April 2016. Last week the agency said it had completed the search process for the correspondence but also said it was delaying the completion of the request until late November 2016 — weeks after the presidential election. The delay was issued in the same week the Obama administration filed a court motion to try to kill a lawsuit aimed at forcing the federal government to more quickly comply with open records requests for Clinton-era State Department documents.

Isn’t that convenient?

It’s pretty clear that America’s trade policy will be a major issue in the upcoming presidential election.

In fact, the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) as well as the pending Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) loomed large in both the Democrats’ and Republicans’ primaries. Presumptive GOP nominee Donald Trump has laid out plans to increase certain tariffs on Mexico after making the charge that they have not lived up to their end of the NAFTA deal and he has warned against TPP writing in an Op/Ed in USA Today:

The number of jobs and amount of wealth and income the United States have given way in so short a time is staggering, likely unprecedented. And the situation is about to get drastically worse if the Trans-Pacific Partnership is not stopped. One of the first casualties of the TPP will be America’s auto industry, and among the worst victims of this pact will be the people of Ohio. The TPP will send America’s remaining auto jobs to Japan. Yet, Gov. John Kasich, Sen. Ted Cruz and Sen. Marco Rubio have all promoted the Trans-Pacific Partnership — a mortal threat to American manufacturing. … TPP is the biggest betrayal in a long line of betrayals where politicians have sold out U.S. workers. America’s politicians — beholden to global corporate interests who profit from offshoring — have enabled jobs theft in every imaginable way. They have tolerated foreign trade cheating while enacting trade deals that encourage companies to shift production overseas.

And over on the Democrats’ side, Bernie Sanders staked out a position that was highly critical of TPP early in that party’s primary process. Hillary Clinton’s position?  Well… we’re still not entirely sure. As IBTimes explained:

Clinton’s shifting positions on the TPP have been a source of controversy during the campaign. She repeatedly promoted the deal as secretary of state but then in 2015 said, “I did not work on TPP,” even though some leaked State Department cables show that her agency was involved in diplomatic discussions about the pact. Under pressure from her Democratic primary opponent, Bernie Sanders, Clinton announced in October that she now opposes the deal — and has disputed that she ever fully backed it in the first place.

So she was not only for TPP before she was against it, but as Secretary of State she actively promoted the trade deal. Wouldn’t it be instructive for the American voter to see exactly want correspondence she had regarding the deal? Did she raise any of the concerns during the time she ran America’s diplomatic efforts? Did she try to re-shape the deal to reflect the concerns she now claims to hold over the agreement?

Thanks to the Obama Administration, voters won’t get a chance to know any of that information until after they cast their votes.  Pretty lousy for “the most transparent administration ever.


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