Why Do Presidents Use Executive Agreements
If the president is waiting for an executive agreement, what kind of obligation does he impose on the United States? It is obvious that it can impose international obligations with potentially serious consequences, and that such obligations may persist longer is equally obvious.488 The nature of the national obligations imposed by executive agreements is not so obvious. Do contracts and executive agreements have the same domestic political effect?489 Contracts precede state law by applying the supremacy clause. While executive agreements made on the basis of congressional approval or a contractual obligation may also draw preemptive force from the supremacy clause, this textual basis for pre-purchase is likely lacking for executive agreements based solely on the president`s constitutional powers. The use of executive treaties 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 negotiated more than 13,000 executive agreements. Executive agreements are often used to circumvent the requirements of national constitutions for treaty ratification. Many nations that are republics with written constitutions have constitutional rules for ratifying treaties. The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe is based on executive agreements. At the end of the day, it seems to be about giving the president that power, which is what the legislature and judiciary want, or at least accept. There doesn`t seem to be much controversy about where the president has the power to make such deals. It seems that the only source of power comes from past practices and the acquisition clause of the Constitution, but within what limits? What raises the questions, why is there not more legislative struggle to limit the power of the president? How far will power be allowed to go, and when will the president`s power be limited? Only time will tell what role the contractual clause will play in the future. Will it be set aside while the executive agreements take control? Or will there always be common ground in which the two have a place in external economic relations? Congressional efforts to curb the practice of executive agreements and stem the tide of unilateralism have been largely unsuccessful.
The first and most important attempt came in 1951, when Senator John Bricker proposed a constitutional amendment to limit the use and impact of executive agreements and treaties in the United States. .