Make global trade your future

Strategic advice

International trade offers growth opportunities that can potentially be more attractive than domestic markets. What if you could take advantage of them and tap into a new level of business growth? Following these three steps will help you better understand the market conditions, cultural traits, regulations, and business convention differences of global markets.

  1. Tap into government resources.

    Take advantage of third-party resources to find out more about global markets, customers, suppliers, and costs.

    • U.S. Commercial Service – part of the U.S. Department of Commerce’s International Trade Administration. With 100 offices nationwide and more than 70 internationally, this service can help you discover your company’s international trade potential. Access their online export solutions resources for a virtual how-to guide that can help you:
      • Research foreign markets and select those that will value your product or service.
      • Navigate through shipping and logistic challenges.
      • Find and evaluate potential business partners.
      • Comply with U.S. and foreign regulations.
    • Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im Bank) – an independent U.S. government agency that supplies loans, guarantees, and insurance programs to reduce commercial and political export trade risk.
    • U.S. International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) – a federal agency that provides political risk insurance, equity investment opportunities, and direct loans for U.S. investment projects in developing nations and emerging markets.
    • Farm Service Agency of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) – helps with agriculture-based exports and provides resources like the Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) to support farmers.
  2. Understand global payment schemes and risks.

    International methods of payment don’t offer the same security options as domestic ones, which can increase payment risk. Learn about typical global payment schemes to find the one that best fits your situation.

    • Unprotected trade/open account trade transactions – Most global transactions are open account trades with no payment protection. The buyer simply pays for the merchandise upon receipt, while the exporter bears the cost of the merchandise during shipping and the risk of any payment delays.
    • Clean payment in advance – The buyer pays for the merchandise before it’s shipped, protecting the exporter against virtually all risks. The buyer remains exposed to the risk that the merchandise might not be shipped on time, in good order, or at all.
    • Documentary collection – A draft or bill of exchange, along with shipping documentation, is presented to the exporter’s bank, then forwarded to the buyer's bank. When payment is made, the documents and merchandise are released, reducing the risk for both exporter and buyer.
    • Letters of credit – Banks agree to honor drafts that are presented in conformance with stated terms and conditions. This universally accepted form of payment gives the exporter an added degree of security compared to the documentary collection method.

    The buyer doesn’t have to pay until shipping documentation is presented, the exporter doesn’t need to worry about the buyer's financial situation, and the exporter controls the merchandise until payment has been processed.

  3. Employ practical financial tools.

    Understand the risks and choose the best set of risk management tools.

    Export financing programs:

    • Ex-Im Bank – offers financing to U.S. businesses and their customers in foreign markets.
    • Small Business Administration (SBA) – helps small businesses with trade financing, working through banks like Truist. The SBA's Export Working Capital Program provides loans that are guaranteed up to 90% and can be used for working capital, export orders, export receivables, or letters of credit.

    International treasury solutions:

    • International wire transfers – one of the safest and quickest ways to send money overseas. Online access allows for the execution of global financial transactions and large volumes of wire transfer requests.
    • International Automated Clearing House (ACH) – a secure and low-cost solution for sending payments internationally.
    • Multi-currency reporting services – foreign currency payables and receivables are combined into a single overseas account, providing streamlined international transaction monitoring capabilities. Multi-bank reporting services can combine balance and transaction information for accounts held at various financial institutions around the world.

    Export insurance:

    • Export credit insurance – Insurance protects the exporter against the risk of nonpayment, allowing the transaction to work under competitive open account terms. The Ex-Im Bank and private sector insurers offer export credit insurance. Insuring the accounts receivable provides collateral for export financing.

Follow this simple roadmap to success in global trade.

Use all the resources at your disposal on a national, state, and local level. Work with experts in global trade, like attorneys, freight forwarders, customs brokers, and international trade insurance specialists. Speak with your Truist relationship manager to learn more about mitigating risk and increasing your profits with global trade.

Are you ready to expand globally?

Accelerate your path to global business success. With years of trade experience, Truist can help you make smart global exporting decisions.