Right before he publicly attacked the Confederate flag as a “symbol of slavery,” President Obama quietly removed an anti-slavery provision from the Trans-Pacific Partnership Trade Agreement.

“The provision, which bars countries that engage in slavery from being part of major trade deals with the U.S., was written by Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.),” the Huffington Post reported in May. “At the insistence of the White House, Menendez agreed to modify his language to say that as long as a country is taking ‘concrete’ steps toward reducing human trafficking and forced labor, it can be part of a trade deal.”

“Under the original language, the country that would be excluded from the pending Trans-Pacific Partnership pact is Malaysia.”

Malaysia is a major hub for human trafficking in Southeast Asia, with enslaved men, women, and children subjected to forced labor and sex trafficking, according to the State Dept.

“Why, in the year 2015, is the White House teaming up with Republican leaders essentially to defend the practice of slavery?” The Huffington Post added.

It was only a month later that President Obama attacked the Confederate flag as a “symbol of slavery.”

“[Removing the flag] would not be an insult to the valor of Confederate soldiers; it would simply be an acknowledgment that the cause for which they fought — the cause of slavery — was wrong,” he said during a June 26 eulogy in Charleston, S.C.

In other words, Obama defended slavery when it benefitted the TPP, but then attacked the Confederate flag for its historic link to slavery because it was politically expedient.

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