In recent years, support for extending the geographical scope of totalisation agreements has increased beyond the current concentration in Europe. The United States has agreements with several non-European countries, but the nature of the authorisation status has limited negotiations for many other reasons discussed below. However, reaching agreements with many of these countries would likely reduce existing burdens for U.S. businesses, workers, and beneficiaries. Although tabularization agreements vary depending on the social security system of the partner country, Table A-1 summarizes some frequent coverage situations for U.S. workers sent to work abroad. Generally speaking, a worker is covered by the social security system of the country where he works. However, the totalization agreements provide exceptions for certain classes of American workers. Since tablation agreements are inherently reciprocal, these waivers apply equally to foreign workers in the United States. The authorization law contained in the 1977 amendments is Section 233 of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C§ 433), 13, which allows the President to enter into bilateral tabonation agreements with countries with a social security system similar to that of the United States. Section 233 defines totalization agreements as agreements between Congress and the executive that have substantially the same legal force as treaties, but do not require full ratification by the Senate.
For an agreement to enter into force, the president must transmit it to Congress, where he must rest for 60 days before the two chambers where one or both houses sit; this period must elapse without either decision being taken for disapproval. All these agreements are based on the concept of shared responsibility. Shared responsibility agreements are reciprocal. Under each agreement, partner countries make concessions on their social security rules so that people covered by the agreement have access to payments for which they might not otherwise be entitled. In this way, the responsibility for social security is shared between the countries where a person has lived during his or her working years and the person can release potential rights. Generally speaking, a pension from one country may be received in the second country, although the paying country retains some discretion in the currency used and the delivery mechanisms used. . . .