Since the 1970s, U.S. negotiators have entered into bilateral agreements with 28 major trading partners to coordinate social security coverage and social benefits for people living and working in more than one country. They are called "totalization agreements" and are similar in the function and structure of contracts and are legally considered to be executive agreements of Congress concluded in accordance with the law. The agreements have three main objectives: the elimination of double taxation of income, the granting of protection to workers who have shared their professional careers between the United States and another country, and the full payment of benefits to residents of both countries. This article briefly describes totalization agreements, tells their stories and discusses proposals to modernize and improve these agreements. The FCN Treaty with Italy, which came into force in 1949 and amended in 1951, expressly invited the United States and the Italian Republic to begin negotiations for a bilateral social security agreement. Since there is no precedent in U.S. law or a specific authorization status, the means of concluding such an agreement were unclear. The conclusion of treaty agreements subjects them to the recommendation and approval clause of the U.S.
Constitution and would require a two-thirds positive vote of the Senate in favor of ratification. This was considered unenforceable and, when the FCN Treaty with Italy was ratified on 21 July 1953, the Senate adopted a resolution stipulating that all the resulting social security agreements "are concluded by the United States only in accordance with statutory provisions." Other Member States or contracting countries must also take German deadlines into account when considering their eligibility requirements. It is therefore important to bear in mind that the Brexit agreement protects German pension insurance rights for the time being through the withdrawal agreement. Currently, the United States has totalization agreements with the following countries: additional special rules generally apply to seafarers, cabin crew, diplomats, government employees and persons whose employers are not transferred directly from one total country to another, but from a total country to a third country before being transferred to the other totalization country. If necessary, totality partner countries may also agree on specific exceptions for individual workers or entire workers. However, for the United States to accept a specific exception, two fundamental principles must be respected: the person must be registered in a single country and the person must retain coverage in the country to which he or she will most likely be most economically attached. Examples of frequent coverage situations are available in Appendix A. This last point concerns multinational organisations which, because of the unique consequences of an international commitment, claim a financial profit or loss of the expatriate – that is, minimise any financial gain or loss of the expatriate – and therefore have an additional financial burden when they fulfil the commitment of the host country as part of its foreign policy.