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. 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. 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. Some other nations have similar provisions for treaty ratification. 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. These sets of 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.