In recent years, executive agreements have become more and more common as a vehicle for carrying out important international agreements. An executive agreement is a pact between the United States and a foreign nation that is made by the President of the United States acting alone.
These agreements have been cited as evidence that the United States is no longer a solid democracy, as they are made without the consent of Congress, and are not subject to the same level of scrutiny as treaties. However, those in favor of executive agreements argue that they are a necessary tool in the current political climate, where partisan gridlock in Congress has made it difficult to pass legislation.
One of the key advantages of executive agreements is that they can be implemented quickly. This is because they do not require the lengthy approval process that treaties do. For example, some executive agreements have been used to strengthen trade relationships between the United States and other countries, which can be timely given the fast-paced nature of global commerce.
Another advantage of executive agreements is that they are typically more flexible than treaties. While treaties are binding and difficult to amend, executive agreements can be altered or terminated more easily. This flexibility allows the United States to adapt to changes in the international landscape more quickly, and to respond to unexpected political or economic events.
Executive agreements are also seen as more effective in some cases because they do not require a two-thirds vote in the Senate, as treaties do. This means that they are less likely to be held up by partisan politics, and can be implemented more quickly.
However, critics of executive agreements argue that they circumvent the checks and balances of the U.S. government. Because they are not subject to the same level of scrutiny as treaties, they can be used to bypass Congress and enact policies that might not otherwise be approved. This has led some to question the constitutionality of executive agreements, and to argue that they should be more strictly regulated.
Despite these criticisms, executive agreements have become an important tool in the U.S. government’s arsenal for carrying out international agreements. While they are not without their controversies, they offer a more flexible and efficient way for the United States to engage with the rest of the world.