Executive agreements are an essential tool used by the President of the United States to conduct foreign policy. These agreements are negotiated and signed without the need for Senate approval, making them a quick and effective way to respond to international situations.

But why and how are executive agreements made? In this article, we’ll explore the reasons behind executive agreements and the process of creating them.

Why are executive agreements made?

Executive agreements are created for a variety of reasons, including the following:

1. To facilitate international trade: Executive agreements can be used to reduce trade barriers, promote free trade, and level the playing field for American businesses in foreign markets.

2. To establish diplomatic relations: Executive agreements can be used to establish formal diplomatic relations with other countries, creating a framework for communication and cooperation.

3. To address security concerns: Executive agreements can be used to address security concerns, such as arms control, nuclear proliferation, and terrorism.

4. To promote global economic development: Executive agreements can provide a framework for promoting economic development, such as debt relief and investment.

5. To reinforce existing treaties: Executive agreements can be used to reinforce existing treaties, helping to ensure that they are properly implemented and enforced.

How are executive agreements made?

Executive agreements are made through a process that typically involves the following steps:

1. Negotiation: The President directs the State Department to negotiate an agreement with the foreign government or organization.

2. Legal review: The proposed agreement is reviewed by the State Department`s legal team to ensure that it is consistent with U.S. law and policy.

3. Approval: Once the agreement is finalized, it is submitted to the President for approval.

4. Signing: The President signs the agreement, and it is then binding on the United States.

5. Notification: The State Department notifies Congress of the agreement, which must be kept informed of the President`s foreign policy activities.


Executive agreements are an essential tool for the President to conduct foreign policy. They are used to facilitate trade, establish diplomatic relations, address security concerns, promote economic development, and reinforce existing treaties. The process of creating executive agreements involves negotiation, legal review, approval, signing, and notification to Congress. Understanding why and how executive agreements are made is essential for anyone interested in foreign policy or international relations.