Definition of the Word Executive Agreement

Executive Agreement: Definition and How It Works

An executive agreement refers to a pact between the leaders of two or more nations. It lays out the terms of cooperation and collaboration between the countries on issues such as trade, security, and foreign policy. The advantage of such an agreement is that it can be made more quickly than a treaty, which has to be ratified by the Senate. It also allows the executive branch to make commitments that may not be acceptable or possible in a treaty.

Executive agreements can be seen as a significant tool for the president of the United States to handle foreign relations as they can be made without the need for congressional approval. However, this has also been a contentious issue as some argue that it undermines the checks and balances set out in the Constitution, which makes the Senate responsible for advice and consent in treaty-making.

There are two primary types of executive agreements: those made with the approval of Congress and those that are made without Congress`s involvement. The former is known as a congressional-executive agreement, which requires a majority vote in both the House of Representatives and the Senate. The latter is a sole executive agreement, which is made by the president and does not require congressional approval.

A common example of an executive agreement is the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) agreement, which was established in 1949. The agreement was made as an executive agreement under the Truman administration, and it has been reaffirmed by several presidents since then, including Reagan, Bush, and Obama.

Another example of an executive agreement is the Iran nuclear deal, which was signed in 2015 between Iran and the United States, along with other major world powers. President Obama signed the deal as a sole executive agreement, which was then upheld by the Supreme Court in a ruling that determined that it was within the president`s power to make such agreements without the need for congressional approval.

In conclusion, an executive agreement is a pact between the leaders of two or more nations that outlines the terms of cooperation and collaboration. These agreements can be seen as a useful tool for the president to handle foreign relations, but they have also been a contentious issue as they may undermine the checks and balances set out in the Constitution. By understanding what executive agreements are, and how they work, we can gain a better appreciation of the complexity of international diplomacy and the role of the executive branch in managing it.