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To: hedgetrimmer
You can read about the process of Congress ratifying treaties, and executive agreements here. The bottom line is that all trade agreements, however labeled, require Congressional approval, either of the agreement itself, or via prior legislation granting the president the power to enter into an executive agreement.

Below is a cut and paste of the relevant paragraph to make it easier for you. I hope this helps:

"In the United States, the term "treaty" is used in a more restricted legal sense than in international law. U.S. law distinguishes what it calls treaties from treaty executive agreements, congressional-executive agreements, and sole executive agreements. All four classes are equally treaties under international law; they are distinct only from the perspective of internal American law. The distinctions are primarily concerning their method of ratification. Where treaties require advice and consent by 2/3rds of the Senate, sole executive agreements may be executed by the President acting alone. Some treaties grant the President the authority to fill in the gaps with executive agreements, rather than additional treaties or protocols. And finally, Congressional executive agreements require majority approval by both the House and the Senate, either before or after the treaty is signed by the President. Currently, international agreements are executed by executive agreement rather than treaties at a rate of 10:1. Despite the relative ease of executive agreements, the President still often chooses to pursue the formal treaty process over an executive agreement in order to gain Congressional support on matters that require the Congress to pass implementing legislation or appropriate funds, and those agreements that impose long-term, complex legal obligations on the U.S."

...

"An executive agreement can only be negotiated and entered into through the president's authority (1) in foreign policy, (2) as commander-in-chief of the armed forces, or (3) from a prior act of Congress. For instance, it is as commander-in-chief that the President negotiates and enters into status of forces agreements (SOFAs), which govern the treatment and disposition of U.S. forces stationed in other nations.

"Agreements beyond these competencies must have the approval of Congress (for congressional-executive agreements) or the Senate (for treaties)."

50 posted on 12/03/2006 11:47:32 AM PST by Torie
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To: Torie
A trade agreement is neither a treaty or an executive agreement.
51 posted on 12/03/2006 12:19:15 PM PST by hedgetrimmer (I'm a millionaire thanks to the WTO and "free trade" system--Hu Jintao top 10 worst dictators)
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