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. These examples are automatically selected from different online sources of information to reflect the current use of the term “executive agreement.” The opinions expressed in the examples do not reflect the views of Merriam-Webster or its publishers. Send us comments. Note: An executive agreement does not have the same weight as a treaty, unless it is supported by a joint resolution. Unlike a treaty, an executive agreement may succeed an adversarial state law, but not a federal law. 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.  The proposed Iran nuclear deal is classically an executive agreement and should not be a treaty with the Council and Senate approval, but Congress should be able to consult itself, as sanctions imposed by Congress should be lifted.
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. 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.
This article deals with executive agreements between nations in general. For more information on executive agreements in U.S. foreign policy, you will find in the foreign policy of the executive agreement States.An an agreement between heads of government of two or more nations, which 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. 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.