Britannica.com: Encyclopedia Article on Executive Agreement Apart from two issues, there is broad consensus on the scope and impact of exclusive executive agreements as a matter of constitutional law. Like the other two types of executive agreements, they are subject to the same restrictions as those that apply to contracts, they are not limited by the tenth amendment and they replace all inconsistent laws of the state. 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 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. An executive agreement based on the contract, to the extent that it is, in the sense, the scope and purpose of the parent contract, has the same validity and effect as the contract itself and is subject to the same constitutional restrictions. It derives from one of the elements of the « supreme law of the land » and prevails over all the inconsistent laws of the state and follows the usual rule that later favors the instrument in case of contradictions with a federal law. A striking example of a contract-based executive agreement is that of traditional distributors, which define the terms of submission to denomination or arbitration under a basic agreement. Another is needed in the hundreds of military agreements and other agreements to implement the North Atlantic Treaty, the linchpin of American policy in Europe since World War II.
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. 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. As the war in Europe enters its decisive phase, public attention in the United States is increasingly focused on the difficulties that can arise when peace treaties are submitted to the Senate with a request for approval of their ratification. The possibility that many international adaptations could be made after this war by executive agreements and not by formal treaties, which must be approved with two-thirds of the majorities in the House of Lords, has hardly been respected. An agreement between Congress and the Executive is based either on an earlier act or on a subsequent act of Congress, which approves the agreement or provides general authority for the executive measures necessary at the international level to implement the legislation in question. The scope or purpose of the agreement is the same whether the act of Congress arrives before or after the agreement is negotiated; the act of Congress often takes the form of an authorization to conclude or reach an agreement already negotiated. However, in principle, the agreement must be governed by the common powers of Congress and the President to have constitutional validity.