Encyclopedia Article on Executive Agreement An executive agreement[1] 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. 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. The implementation of executive agreements increased considerably after 1939. Prior to 1940, the U.S. Senate had ratified 800 treaties and presidents had concluded 1,200 executive agreements; From 1940 to 1989, during World War II and the Cold War, presidents signed nearly 800 treaties, but concluded more than 13,000 executive treaties.

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. Most executive agreements were concluded in accordance with a treaty or an act of Congress. However, presidents have sometimes reached executive agreements to achieve goals that would not find the support of two-thirds of the Senate. For example, after the outbreak of World War II, but before the Americans entered the conflict, President Franklin D. Roosevelt negotiated an executive agreement that gave the United Kingdom 50 obsolete destroyers in exchange for 99-year leases on some British naval bases in the Atlantic. The U.S. Supreme Court in the United States