Gentlemen`s agreements, because they are informal and often not written, do not have the same legal and regulatory protection as a formal treaty and are therefore more difficult to enforce. Despite their informal nature, the violation of a gentlemen`s agreement could have negative consequences on trade relations if a party decides not to keep its promise. A gentlemen`s agreement can also be described as a „gentleman`s agreement“ and can be completed by a handshake or not. In the worst case scenario, a gentlemen`s agreement can be entered into to practice anti-competitive practices such as pricing or trade quotas. Since a gentlemen`s agreement is tacit – which is not subject to the document as a binding legal treaty – it can be used to create and enforce illegal rules. Gentlemen`s agreements can also be found in trade agreements and international relations. One example is the 1907 Gentlemen`s Agreement, in which the United States and the Japanese Empire addressed immigration from Japan and the mistreatment of Japanese immigrants to the United States. The agreement, which was never ratified by Congress, saw Japan stop issuing passports to people who wanted to immigrate to America to work. The United States, on the other hand, would no longer allow discrimination and segregation of Japanese citizens residing in America.
Similarly, in 1907 Morgan again collaborated with Roosevelt to create a gentlemen`s agreement that would allow US Steel to acquire its greatest competitor, Tennessee Coal and Iron, in a tacit and unspoken rule that violated the Sherman Act. Gentlemen`s agreements have often been concluded in international trade and relations, as well as in most sectors. Gentlemen`s agreements were particularly prevalent at the birth of the industrial era and well beyond the first half of the 200th year, as regulations often delayed new business practices. It was found that such agreements were used, among other things, to control prices and limit competition in the steel, iron, water and tobacco industries. Japan was prepared to limit immigration to the United States, but was seriously injured by San Francisco`s discriminatory law, which specifically targeted its people. President Roosevelt, who wanted to maintain good relations with Japan as a pole opposed to Russian expansion in the Far East, intervened. While the U.S. ambassador reassured the Japanese government, Roosevelt summoned the mayor and the San Francisco school board to the White House in February 1907 and convinced him to end segregation and promised that the federal government itself would address the issue of immigration. On February 24, the gentlemen`s agreement was reached with Japan in the form of a Japanese memo, in which it was agreed to deny passports to workers wishing to enter the United States and to recognize the right of the United States to exclude Japanese immigrants with passports initially issued to other countries. March 13, 1907 followed the formal withdrawal of the San Francisco School Board`s decision.