Trade Finance – United States

2022 Guide | Trade Finance Global

Trade Finance - United States

Welcome to the US Trade Finance and International Trade hub. Find out how our United States based team can help you access trade finance to increase your imports and exports, or find the latest research, information and insights on trade finance here.

What is trade finance?

Trade Finance is the financing of goods or services in a trade or transaction, from a supplier through to the end buyer. It accounts for 3% of global trade, worth some $3tn annually. ‘Trade Finance’ is an umbrella term, which includes a variety of financial instruments that can be used by an importer or exporter.

These include:

  • Purchase Order Finance
  • Stock Finance
  • Structured Commodity Finance
  • Invoice Finance (Discounting & Factoring)
  • Supply Chain Finance
  • Letters of Credit (LCs) and;
  • Bonds & Guarantees

The terms Import Finance and Export Finance are used interchangeably with Trade Finance.

In order to address some of the common issues and misunderstandings around Trade Finance, we have put together this short guide.

How can trade finance benefit my US-based business?

Trade finance facilitates the growth of a business by securing funds required to purchase goods and stock. Managing cash and working capital is critical to the success of any business. Trade finance is a tool which is used to unlock capital from a company’s existing stock or receivables or add further finance facilities based on a company’s trade cycles.

Why does this help? A trade finance facility may allow you to offer more competitive terms to both suppliers and customers, by reducing payment gaps in your trade cycle. It is beneficial for supply chain relationships and growth.

Other benefits of trade finance

  • Short to medium-term working capital, using the underlying products or services being imported/exported as security/collateral. It increases the revenue potential of a company, and earlier payments may allow for higher margins.
  • Trade finance allows companies to request higher volumes of stock or place larger orders with suppliers, leading to economies of scale and bulk discounts. 
  • Trade finance can also help strengthen the relationship between buyers and sellers, increasing profit margins. It allows a company to be more competitive.
  • Managing the supply chain is critical for any business. Trade and supply chain finance helps ease out cash constraints or liquidity gaps – for suppliers, customers, third parties, employees or providers. Earlier payments also mitigate risk for suppliers.

It is important to note that trade finance focuses more on the trade than the underlying borrower, i.e. it is not balance sheet led. Therefore, small businesses with weaker balance sheets can use trade finance to trade significantly larger volumes of goods or services and work with stronger end customers.

Due to the embedded risk mitigants that surround trade finance lending and instruments, it leads to the potential of a diversity of supplier base for trading companies. A more diverse supplier network increases competition and efficiency in markets and supply chains.

Companies can also mitigate business risks by using appropriate trade finance structures. Late payments from debtors, bad debts, excess stock and demanding creditors can have detrimental effects on a business. External financing or revolving credit facilities can ease this pressure by effectively financing trade flows.

 

Get started – talk to our US team



If you have a trade finance enquiry, please use the contact form below to get in touch with our US team.

 

Finance Queries:

us.team@tradefinanceglobal.com

trade.team@tradefinanceglobal.com

Partnership Queries:

introducers@tradefinanceglobal.com

Find out more about partnering with us here.

 

Want to learn more about Trade Finance?

Look no further. We’ve put together our feature US trade finance insights, research and articles, and you can catch the latest thought leadership from the TFG, listen to podcasts and digest the latest in international trade in the North America region right here.

From the Editor – Trade Finance Insights

Visa Highs & Lows VIDEO | Visa: the highs and lows of B2B payments To learn more about the cross-border B2B payments landscape, Trade Finance Global (TFG) interviewed Ben Ellis, global head of Visa B2B Connect.
Autumn statement- what’s in store for the UK economy and what could this mean for trade? Autumn statement: what’s in store for the UK economy and what could this mean for trade? November 17, 2022 saw the unveiling of the UK’s Autumn Statement. The plan hopes to create a more stable UK economy in light of the current global financial uncertainty.
Float or sink- BIMCO discusses eBL adoption, standards, interoperability PODCAST | Float or sink: BIMCO discusses eBL adoption, standards, interoperability Given the complexity of maritime transport, Annie Kovacevic sat down with Grant Hunter, director of standards, innovation, and research at BIMCO, to learn more about hot topics in the industry.
Digitising trade and supply chain processes TFG contributes to ICC Academy’s new CDTS course  VIDEO | Digitising trade and supply chain processes: TFG contributes to ICC Academy’s new CDTS course  With the trade ecosystem increasingly shifting towards technological advancements, and a market saturated with options in which to digitise trade processes, it can be difficult to cut through the noise.
TFG Weekly Trade Briefing TFG Weekly Trade Briefing, 7th November 2022 Your Monday coffee briefing from TFG – VIDEO | Citi on navigating volatility and incorporating ESG finance principles into trade finance
The FX market definitions, drivers, and difficulties The FX market: definitions, drivers, and difficulties In late September the pound fell spectacularly from above $1.12 to a new record low of $1.035 versus the US dollar.

It’s true that the dollar had been appreciating for many months, and the pound was one of the most undervalued currencies of the year, but this was news making headlines and front pages around the world, and it was exclusively a domestic problem.

TFG Weekly Trade Briefing TFG Weekly Trade Briefing, 5th September 2022 Your Monday morning coffee briefing from TFG: Virtual tradecast: TFG joins forces with Tinubu to discuss trade credit insurance
A look at the economic backdrop behind mounting US-China relations A look at the economic backdrop behind mounting US-China relations From former US President Donald Trump’s trade war with China to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s controversial visit to Taiwan in August, ties between the US and China have been delicate in recent years.
“Africa is the future”: all eyes turn to the youngest continent as the next frontier for growth “Africa is the future”: all eyes turn to the youngest continent as the next frontier for growth With commodities like food and energy resources scarcening in the face of climate change and the Ukraine-Russia conflict, all eyes are turning towards Africa as a possible solution.

Videos – Trade Finance

Trade Finance Frequently Asked Questions

What types of Trade & Receivables Finance does TFG offer?

TFG assists companies to access trade and receivables finance through our relationships with 270+ banks, funds and alternative finance houses.

We assist specialist companies to scale their trade volumes, by matching them with appropriate financing structures – based on geographies, products, sector and trade cycles. Contact us to find out more.

Trade Finance & Stock Finance

  • Trade Finance (Purchase Order Finance)
  • Stock Finance
  • Pre Export Finance
  • Import & Export Finance
  • Structured Commodity Finance
  • Letters of Credit
  • Bonds & Guarantees

Receivables Finance & Invoice Finance

  • Receivables Purchase
  • Invoice Finance
  • Discounting
  • Factoring
  • Supply Chain Finance

Specialist Trade & Receivables Finance

  • Borrowing Base Facilities
  • Back-To-Back LC Lines
  • Long Dated Receivables – Media, Sport
  • Revolving Credit Facilities (RCF)
What is the process for applying for trade finance?

1. Application

The initial ‘credit’ application drives the process when applying for credit.

Lenders will often ask for information on current assets or collateral that the business owns, including debt and overdrafts, assets that the company or directors own (property, equipment, invoices).

2. Evaluating the Application

The evaluation process will normally involve some kind of credit scoring process, taking into account any vulnerabilities such as the market the business is entering, probability of default and even the integrity and quality of management.

3. Negotiation

Eligible SMEs applying for trade finance can negotiate terms with lenders. An SME’s aim with a lender is to secure finance on the most favourable terms and price. Some of the terms that can be negotiated can include fees and fixed charges, as well as interest rates.

4. The Approval Process and Documentation of a Loan

Typically, the account officer who initially deals with the applicant and collects all of the documentation will do an initial credit and risk analysis. This then goes to a specific committee or the next level of credit authority for approval. If the loan is agreed (on a preliminary basis) it goes to the legal team to ensure that collateral can be secured/ protected and to mitigate any risks in the case of default.

Read our full ‘trade finance application process’ here.

Strategic Partners:

Get in touch with our US trade team

Speak to our trade finance team

Quick Links

Latest US feature from Trade Finance Talks

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Latest US Trade News

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About the Author

Gabrielle Ann Vilda is an author at Trade Finance Global

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