Executive agreement, an agreement between the United States and a foreign government that is less formal than a treaty and is not subject to the constitutional requirement for ratification by two-thirds of the U.S. Senate. In part because the powers of Congress and the president have been widely interpreted, most of the agreements proposed as treaties could have been proposed as executive agreements of Congress. That`s why the U.S. government has often chosen to use congressional executive agreements over treaties for controversial agreements that are unlikely to get the super-majority required in the Senate. The 1992 North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and the agreement by which the United States became members of the World Trade Organization (WTO) in 1995 are examples of controversial proposals that are dealt with in the form of agreements between Congress and the executive branch. Executive agreement of Congress, a binding agreement between the United States and a foreign country, which is easier to enact than a formal treaty, but is technically more limited. The U.S. Constitution does not explicitly give a president the power to enter into executive agreements. However, it may be authorized to do so by Congress or may do so on the basis of its foreign relations management authority.
Despite questions about the constitutionality of executive agreements, the Supreme Court ruled in 1937 that they had the same force as treaties. As executive agreements are made on the authority of the president-in-office, they do not necessarily bind his successors. An executive agreement is an agreement between heads of government of two or more nations that has not been ratified by the legislature, since the treaties are ratified. Executive agreements are considered politically binding to distinguish them from legally binding contracts. The U.S. Supreme Court Pink (1942) found that international agreements, which were concluded in law, have the same legal status as treaties and do not require Senate approval. To Reid v. Concealed (1957), the Tribunal, while reaffirming the President`s ability to enter into executive agreements, found that such agreements could not be contrary to existing federal law or the Constitution. In the United States, executive agreements are made exclusively by the President of the United States. They are one of three mechanisms through which the United States makes binding international commitments. Some authors view executive agreements as treaties of international law because they bind both the United States and another sovereign state. However, under U.S.
constitutional law, executive agreements are not considered treaties within the meaning of the contractual clause of the U.S. Constitution, which requires the Council and the approval of two-thirds of the Senate to be considered a treaty. Most executive agreements were concluded in accordance with a treaty or an act of Congress.