Executive agreements refer to agreements or understandings between the United States government and other foreign governments that do not require the approval of the US Senate. In other words, these agreements are made by the executive branch of the US government, specifically the President, without the need for Congress to approve them.
The use of executive agreements has been a contentious issue throughout US history. While some argue that they allow for greater flexibility and speed in negotiating and implementing agreements with foreign countries, others argue that they undermine the checks and balances of the US government by allowing the President to make important foreign policy decisions without the approval or oversight of Congress.
Examples of executive agreements include the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), the Iran nuclear deal, and the Paris climate agreement. These agreements were negotiated and signed by the President without the need for approval from Congress.
It is important to note that executive agreements are not the same as treaties. Treaties require approval from two-thirds of the Senate and are considered part of US law under the Supremacy Clause of the Constitution. Executive agreements, on the other hand, do not require Senate approval and are not considered part of US law.
In recent years, the use of executive agreements has become more common as the political climate in Washington has become increasingly polarized. With Congress deadlocked on many issues, Presidents have turned to executive agreements to achieve their foreign policy goals.
However, the use of executive agreements has also raised concerns about the balance of power between the executive and legislative branches of the US government. Some argue that the President`s ability to make important foreign policy decisions without congressional approval undermines the checks and balances that are crucial to the functioning of a healthy democracy.
In conclusion, executive agreements are agreements made by the executive branch of the US government with foreign governments that do not require Senate approval. While they provide flexibility in negotiating and implementing agreements, they have also raised concerns about the balance of power between the executive and legislative branches of the US government.