USA Letter of Credit Transactions

What are the key points of consideration as an exporter when working with a letter of credit which is issued in USA or as an importer when issuing a letter of credit for a USA exporter?

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You should understand USA economy, USA exports and imports as well as US banks before you proceed to work with an US letter of credit.

The United States of America’s Economy and International Trade at a Glance:

  • Gross domestic product of USA is 15.6 trillion US dollars in year 2013. This makes the US economy largest economy in the world.
  • USA is the world’s biggest importer with 2.31 trillion US dollars volume and 3rd biggest exporter with 1.49 trillion US dollars volume in year 2013.
  • US Dollar is the main reserve currency in today’s economic system. Most of the international trade transactions are handled by US Dollar. For example when you buy a 20ft container of textile from China you most probably pay by US dollars whichever country you may locate.
  • USA is one of the least risky countries in the world in terms of financial, economic and politic stability factors.
  • Most of the big global companies are originated from USA.
  • Although USA has s strong and well established finance system, last global financial crises hit hard to US financial institutions. Even biggest US banks had to be rescued by US government as a result of unwanted effects of global financial crisis.
  • Trade deficit or, a trade gap, is one of the key problems in US economy. US has been covering its trade deficit by the help of direct foreign investment and borrowing for decades. As a result USA has a very high level of external debt stock at the moment.

Biggest Banks in USA and their SWIFT Codes:

Bank NameAssets (Billion USD)Swift Code
Bank Name:
JP Morgan Chase               
Assets (Billion USD):
2,265.8
Swift Code:
CHASUS33
Bank Name:
Bank of America Corp.
Assets (Billion USD):
2,136.6
Swift Code:
BOFAUS3N
Bank Name:
Citigroup Inc.
Assets (Billion USD):
1,873.9
Swift Code:
CITIUS33
Bank Name:
Wells Fargo
Assets (Billion USD):
1,313.9
Swift Code:
WFBIUS6S
Bank Name:
Goldman Sachs Group
Assets (Billion USD):
923.7
Swift Code:
GOLDUS33
Bank Name:
Morgan Stanley
Assets (Billion USD):
749.9
Swift Code:
MSNYU33 
Bank Name:
U.S. Bancorp
Assets (Billion USD):
340.1
Swift Code:
USBKUS44
Bank Name:
HSBC North America Holdings Inc.
Assets (Billion USD):
331.4
Swift Code:
MRMDUS33