The Australian Group (AG) is an informal forum of countries that, by harmonizing export controls, wants to ensure that exports do not contribute to the development of chemical or biological weapons. Participants in the Australia Group help countries meet their obligations under the Chemical Weapons Convention and the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention as much as possible by coordinating export controls. 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. Under international law, a treaty is a legally binding agreement between states (countries). A treaty can be called a convention, protocol, pact, agreement, etc. It is the content of the agreement, not its name, that makes it a treaty. Thus, the Geneva Protocol and the Biological Weapons Convention are the two treaties, although neither treaty in its name. Under U.S. law, a treaty is a legally binding agreement between countries that requires ratification and “consultation and approval” of the Senate. All other agreements (internationally treated) are called executive agreements, but are nevertheless legally binding on the United States under international law.
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 U.S. Supreme Court Pink (1942) found that international agreements, which were concluded in law, have the same legal status as treaties and do not require Senate approval. To Reid v. Concealed (1957), the Tribunal, while reaffirming the President`s ability to enter into executive agreements, found that such agreements could not be contrary to existing federal law or the Constitution.