chapter  11
18 Pages

The Presidency and Foreign Policy


While the U.S. system of separation of powers and checks and balances gives both Congress and the presidency a voice in foreign policy, the chief executive bears the primary responsibility for shaping, negotiating, and conveying U.S. priorities abroad. The many constitutional roles granted to the president mandate leadership in foreign affairs. As Clinton Rossiter writes, the president serves as chief of state, chief executive, chief diplomat, commander in chief, and chief legislator.2 Each role demands executive initiative to represent the United States abroad and guide domestic agencies and institutions, including Congress, in deciding how to address other nations’ interests and expectations of the United States.