Executive Agreement Advantage and Disadvantage

Executive Agreement: Advantages and Disadvantages

An executive agreement is a form of an international agreement that is entered into by the President of the United States without obtaining the approval of the Senate. This agreement is used when the subject matter of the agreement is not of great importance to the country`s interest or when it`s not contentious enough to require the Senate`s approval. While an executive agreement has its advantages, it also has its disadvantages. In this article, we`ll take a look at the executive agreement`s advantages and disadvantages.

Advantages of Executive Agreement

1. Quick and Efficient

One of the significant advantages of an executive agreement is that it`s quick and efficient to implement since it`s signed by the President without having to go through the Senate`s approval process. This makes it an attractive option when immediate action is required.

2. Cost-Effective

An executive agreement is cost-effective compared to a treaty since it doesn`t require a long and costly process. The process of creating a treaty usually takes time and resources since it involves negotiations and ratification.

3. Flexible

Another advantage of an executive agreement is its flexibility to address specific needs and changes. For instance, if certain circumstances change, the President can negotiate and amend the agreement with the other party.

4. Confidentiality

Executive agreements are often kept confidential, and this helps to avoid the political pressure that comes with open negotiations. This makes it easier to reach agreements that might not be politically popular.

Disadvantages of Executive Agreement

1. Lack of transparency

Since executive agreements are often kept confidential, the lack of transparency can lead to mistrust and misunderstanding. It can also lead to accusations that the negotiations were not conducted in good faith.

2. Not Legally Binding

An executive agreement is not legally binding, and this makes it difficult to enforce. Although the other party usually agrees to abide by the agreement, it`s not guaranteed, and there is no procedure for enforcing the agreement.

3. Limited Application

Executive agreements are usually limited in scope and application since they are not subject to the same scrutiny as treaties. This can make it difficult to address complex issues that require a more comprehensive approach.

4. Lack of Input

The Senate is left out of the process of approving executive agreements, and this can lead to the President making decisions that are not supported by the Senate. This can lead to political opposition and even lawsuits.


An executive agreement has its advantages and disadvantages. While it`s quick, efficient, and cost-effective, it lacks transparency, is not legally binding, has limited application, and not subject to input from the Senate. As such, its use should be carefully considered, and its benefits and drawbacks weighed before deciding on its use. Ultimately, it`s crucial to strike a balance between efficiency and accountability to ensure the best interests of the country are served.

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