- The Washington Times - Saturday, October 8, 2016

Hillary Clinton in 2013 said she dreams of a “common market with open trade and open borders,” saying that economic opportunity in the U.S. would grow as a result.

Her comments to Latin American bankers were revealed late Friday by WikiLeaks, which appears to have obtained excerpts of some of Mrs. Clinton’s paid speeches in the days following her tenure at the State Department. The excerpts were found in Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta’s emails, and while Mr. Podesta refused to verify the documents, he also did not deny their authenticity.

In addition to downplaying banks’ role in the 2008 economic collapse, admitting she’s out of touch with the middle class and conceding she has “both a public and a private position” on Wall Street reform, Mrs. Clinton also bluntly said she believes open borders would benefit the entire Western hemisphere.

“My dream is a hemispheric common market, with open trade and open borders, some time in the future with energy that is as green and sustainable as we can get it, powering growth and opportunity for every person in the Hemisphere,” she said in the May 2013 speech to the Brazilian bank Banco Itau.

While Mrs. Clinton has come out against the TransPacific Partnership and has said other trade deals such as NAFTA have hurt the U.S., the speech excerpts show the former first lady saying a “concerted plan” to increase trade will be necessary moving forward.

“I think we have to have a concerted plan to increase trade already under the current circumstances,” she said. “There is so much more we can do, there is a lot of low-hanging fruit but businesses on both sides have to make it a priority and it’s not for governments to do but governments can either make it easy or make it hard and we have to resist protectionism, other kinds of barriers to market access and to trade” and make trade a pillar of U.S. foreign policy for years to come.

The Clinton campaign has said it will not vouch for the authenticity of the leak, but Mr. Podesta and other campaign officials have blamed the hack on Russia, saying agents in Moscow want to swing the November election to Republican nominee Donald Trump.

• Ben Wolfgang can be reached at bwolfgang@washingtontimes.com.

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