Trade Finance Guide

The Trade Finance Guide: A Quick Reference for U.S. Exporters 

The Trade Finance Guide: A Quick Reference for U.S. Exporters 

Finance your way to new export sales while ensuring you get paid. This guide is the place to start. You’ll find out about the terminology, common trade financing practices and government assistance. 

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   Download Spanish Version

Is your business looking to make that first export sale or expand into more markets, but needs clarity on financing options and methods? Did you know that having open account terms may help win customers in competitive markets? Is insisting on cash-in-advance always a good idea? What are the advantages of exporting on consignment? What should you know about export working capital financing or export credit insurance? Get answers to these questions and a wealth of other information in a trusted resource: The Trade Finance Guide: A Quick Reference for U.S. Exporters.  
While numerous U.S. businesses continue to take advantage of export opportunities, many other businesses are hesitant to export or expand into new markets. Often, this is due to risks such as non-payment or delayed payment by foreign buyers, political and commercial risks, and for other reasons. The result is missed opportunities. Is your business one of them?   
The easy-to-understand Trade Finance Guide provides practical, how-to advice in a simplified format to help achieve the goal of getting paid—especially on time—and effectively managing risks associated with doing business internationally.  
This edition spotlights commercial trade finance instruments as well as U.S. government export financing resources available through the U.S. Export-Import Bank (EXIM Bank), U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). And there’s plenty more as outlined in the 14 chapters below:   

  • Introduction 

  • Methods of Payment in International Trade 

  • Cash-in-Advance 

  • Letters of Credit 

  • Documentary Collections 

  • Open Account Consignment 

  • Export Working Capital Financing  

  • Government-Guaranteed Export Working Capital Loan Programs 

  • Export Credit Insurance 

  • Export Factoring 

  • Forfaiting 

  • Government-Assisted Foreign Buyer Financing 

  • Government-Backed Agricultural Export Financing 

  • Foreign Exchange Risk Management 

How to Obtain the Trade Finance Guide     

 As well as being available online, print copies of the Guide may be available upon request. For more information, contact the project manager and author of the Guide, Yuki Fujiyama, tel. (202) 482-3468; e-mail, in the Office of Finance & Insurance Industries at the International Trade Administration of the U.S. Department of Commerce.