Executive Agreement Features

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 the United States, executive agreements are binding at the international level when negotiated and concluded under the authority of the President on foreign policy, as commander-in-chief of the armed forces or from a previous congressional record. For example, the President, as Commander-in-Chief, negotiates and concludes Armed Forces Agreements (SOFAs) that govern the treatment and disposition of U.S. forces deployed in other nations. However, the President cannot unilaterally enter into executive agreements on matters that are not in his constitutional jurisdiction. In such cases, an agreement should take the form of an agreement between Congress and the executive branch or a contract with the Council and the approval of the Senate. [2] In the United States, executive agreements are concluded 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. An agreement between Congress and the Executive is based either on an earlier act or on a subsequent act of Congress, which approves the agreement or provides general authority for the executive measures necessary at the international level to implement the legislation in question. The scope or purpose of the agreement is the same whether the act of Congress arrives before or after the agreement is negotiated; the act of Congress often takes the form of an authorization to conclude or reach an agreement already negotiated. However, in principle, the agreement must be governed by the common powers of Congress and the President to have constitutional validity. An agreement outside the legal jurisdiction of Congress or the President, on which the authorities generally agree, would be unconstitutional. On the other hand, as the American Law Institute has pointed out, “the source of authority to reach an agreement between Congress and the executive branch may even be broader than the sum of the respective powers of Congress and the President,” and “in international matters, the President and Congress together have all the powers of the United States inherent in their sovereignty and nationality. , and can therefore conclude any international agreement on any subject. In any case, the vast majority of U.S.

executive agreements, in part in the interest of controlling and balancing the president in the conduct of foreign policy- is of this kind.

Fotos: Mitch Stöhring
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