The goal of all U.S. totalization agreements is to eliminate dual social security and taxation, while maintaining coverage for as many workers as possible under the country where they are likely to have the most ties, both at work and after retirement. Any agreement aims to achieve this objective through a series of objective rules. The labour shortage in Europe, just after the Second World War, led to an unprecedented period of labour immigration. As a result, many workers have found themselves in an unusual position to divide their careers between two countries, often with ambiguous rules on tax debt. In many cases, workers and their employers have been forced to pay double taxes on social security in order to avoid gaps in coverage that would otherwise prevent these displaced workers from receiving benefits when they retire. As a result, Western European countries have begun to conclude bilateral agreements that would clarify the tax obligation of social security and protect workers` welfare rights. Agreements to coordinate social protection across national borders have been commonplace in Western Europe for decades. This is followed by a list of the agreements reached by the United States and the effective date of each. Some of these agreements were then revised; The date indicated is the date on which the original agreement came into force. The agreements also have a positive effect on the profitability and competitive position of companies operating abroad by reducing their business costs abroad. Companies with staff stationed abroad are encouraged to use these agreements to reduce their tax burden. Double tax debt may also affect U.S.

citizens and residents working for foreign subsidiaries of U.S. companies. This is likely to be the case when a U.S. company has followed the common practice of entering into an agreement with the Treasury, pursuant to Section 3121 (l) of the Internal Income Code, to provide social security to U.S. citizens and residents employed by the subsidiary. In addition, U.S. citizens and residents who are independent outside the United States are often subject to double social security taxation, as they are covered by the U.S. program, even if they do not have a U.S. business.

Under certain conditions, a worker may be exempt from coverage in a contracting country, even if he or she has not been transferred directly from the United States. For example, if a U.S. company sends an employee to its New York office to work for 4 years in its Hong Kong office, and then re-opens the employee for an additional 4 years in its London office, the employee may be a member of Social Security under the U.S.U.K. agreement. The rule for the self-employed applies in cases such as this, provided the worker has been seconded from the United States and is under U.S. Social Security for the entire period prior to the transfer to the contracting country. As U.S. commercial and commercial interests have spread around the world, the list of major trading partners increasingly includes countries that do not have a system that meets all U.S. legal requirements. This may penalize U.S. companies, workers and potential social security beneficiaries abroad who could benefit from such agreements. Upon entering into a totalization agreement, the United States and a partner country agree to coordinate social security and performance bonus rules for people who have worked in both countries during their working lives.