International Trade Finance topics

Trade Finance Guide: Now Online, with User-Friendly Features!

Natalie Soroka is an Economist on detail with Manufacturing and Services’ Trade and Project Finance Team, a part of the Office of Financial Services Industries.

Let’s face it, for a new exporter, figuring out trade finance options can be daunting. With so many options available it can be hard to know where to even start (just what is forfaiting, anyway?).

Luckily, the Commerce Department’s International Trade Administration publishes the Trade Finance Guide: A Quick Reference for U.S. Exporters. The Guide is designed to help U.S. companies, especially small and medium-sized businesses, learn the basic fundamentals of trade finance so that they can turn their export opportunities into actual sales and achieve every business’s ultimate goal: getting paid. Cover image of the Trade Finance Guide 2008

Until recently, the Trade Finance Guide was only available in print form (by order) or in a series of PDF files off of a variety of sites. However, now these concise chapters are available on the web, allowing you to click through the entire guide, or navigate to a specific chapter based on your personal interest.

Quick, easy-to-read chapters cover topics such as the various methods of payment available in international trade, export working capital financing, export credit insurance, and yes, forfaiting.

In addition to covering the basics, the guide also notes where to go for more information, training, and who to contact with questions about trade finance, the guide itself, and partners who collaborated with the Commerce Department in creating the Trade Finance Guide.

For more information, just check it out yourself! The most recent version of the Trade Finance Guide is available on export.gov, at

Be sure to check back for updates, as the Guide is revised from time to time. Future editions will include new chapters that discuss other trade finance techniques and related topics.

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