Learn the Ropes of Export Trade Financing

January 25, 2013
By Michelle Kelley

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As an exporter, any sale you make is a gift until payment is received. That’s why it’s essential to establish the right payment terms in your contracts, so you get paid as soon as possible. The tricky part is getting your buyer to agree to these terms. How do you protect yourself to ensure that you get paid, while also accommodating the needs of your buyer? Thankfully, there’s a reference for that.

Published by the International Trade Administration, Trade Finance Guide: A Quick Reference for U.S. Exporters is designed to help U.S. companies, especially small and medium-sized enterprises, learn the basics of trade finance so that they can turn their export opportunities into actual sales and achieve the ultimate goal of getting paid—especially on time—for those sales. Concise, two-page chapters offer the basics of numerous financing techniques, from open accounts, to forfaiting, to government assisted foreign-buyer financing.

The current edition of the Trade Finance Guide was published in November 2012.


Methods of Payment
Letters of Credit
Documentary Collections
Open Account
Export Working Capital Financing
Government-Guaranteed Export Working Capital Programs
Export Credit Insurance
Export Factoring
Government Assisted Foreign Buyer Financing
Government-Backed Agricultural Export Financing
Foreign Exchange Risk Management

Get the guide