In recent years, the growth of executive agreements has also been due to the volume of business between the United States and other countries, coupled with the already high workload of the Senate. Many international agreements are relatively small and would unnecessarily overburden the Senate if presented in the form of consultation and approval treaties. Another factor has been the adoption of legislation that the executive has adopted to conclude international agreements in certain areas, such as foreign aid, agriculture and trade. Contracts have also been adopted to allow for further agreements between the parties. According to a 1984 study by the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, “88.3% of international agreements concluded between 1946 and 1972 were at least partially based on legal authority; 6.2% were contracts, 5.5% were exclusively executive. 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. Since the first Congress was convened on March 4, 1789, the United States Senate has carefully retained its simultaneous power in drafting treaties. On August 22, 1789, President George Washington and Minister of War Henry Knox arrived in the Senate Chamber to seek advice from the Senate and approval of a treaty with Indian tribes. While the Speaker, sitting in the Chair chair, and his secretary were waiting, the Senate voted to refer these matters to a committee rather than debate the matter in the presence of the venerable President. Irritated, Washington decided that in the future it would send out written communications on the contracts, setting the precedent that all his successors followed. The challenge of securing a two-thirds majority on contracts was one of the motivations for the huge increase in executive agreements after World War II.
In 1952, for example, the United States signed 14 treaties and 291 executive agreements. These were more executive agreements than those concluded during the century from 1789 to 1889. Executive agreements continue to grow rapidly. A treaty is an international agreement established in writing and by international law between two or more sovereign states, whether inscribed in a single instrument or in two or more related acts. Treaties have many names: conventions, agreements, pacts, pacts, charters and statutes, among others. The choice of name has no legal value. Contracts can generally be categorized into one of two main categories: bilateral (between two countries) and multilateral (between three or more countries). In the United States, executive agreements are binding at the international level when negotiated and concluded under the authority of the President on foreign policy, as commander-in-chief of the armed forces or from a previous congressional record.