Hillary Clinton’s Emails On The Controversial Trade Deal Won’t Be Released Until After The Election
Hillary Clinton’s emails have been a dark cloud over her presidential campaign, and the storm of electronic words continues to pour. International Business Times reporter David Sirota filed a Freedom of Information Act request last year for emails between the former secretary of state and the United States Trade Representative, which handles international trade policy, in order to evaluate Clinton’s involvement in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). However, the State Department said last week that the request won’t be completed until November 31, meaning Clinton’s TPP emails won’t be seen until after the election.
The TPP, a trade pact between the United States and eleven other countries signed in February but still undergoing negotiation, is highly controversial, and voters want to know how involved Clinton was in its conception. While secretary of state, she promoted the deal, but switched her stance during her presidential campaign. In an October interview with PBS’s Judy Woodruff, Clinton said, “As of today, I am not in favor of what I have learned about it.” She added, “I have said from the very beginning that we had to have a trade agreement that would create good American jobs, raise wages, and advance our national security and I still believe that is the high bar we have to meet,” explaining that the TPP didn’t meet that bar.
Because she’s flip flopped on the agreement meant to remove trade barriers that worries so many labor union members and others worried about American jobs, voters want to know exactly what her role was in drafting the TPP while serving in the Obama administration. Emails sent between her office and the United States Trade Representative would help determine whether she simply supported the deal or actually participated in the decision-making process.
Initially, the State Department estimated that Sirota’s request would be completed in April 2016, but pushed it back to November, saying in a letter to Sirota: “Our office was recently informed that the search process has been completed and that the information located from that search is currently being prepared for the review process.”
Following this news, Trump’s campaign called for the emails to be released. “Hillary Clinton’s TPP emails should absolutely be released, as her support for TPP threatens to permanently undermine U.S. workers and sovereignty,” Stephen Miller, Trump’s senior policy advisor, said in a statement to the International Business Times. “Hillary is 100 percent controlled by corporate interests, including foreign corporate interests, and it is essential these emails see the light of day.”
Especially now that Clinton is undeniably the presumptive Democratic nominee, her past actions in office need to be transparent. Voters concerned about the TPP won’t have the information necessary to decide between presidential candidates before heading to the polls November 8, undermining their right to make an informed choice.