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U.S. Department of Commerce: Market Development Cooperator Program

Deadline: March 27, 2017

Market Development Cooperator Program (MDCP) financial assistance awards help to underwrite the start-up costs of new foreign market development projects that industry organizations are often reluctant to undertake without federal government support. MDCP projects strengthen the competitiveness of U.S. industry by generating exports of nonagricultural goods and services produced in the U.S.

Applicants should propose foreign market development activities tailored to help U.S. firms to export. Examples from prior years are described below and, in greater detail, at trade.gov/mdcp. These are provided only for illustration and applicants are not required to propose any of these activities:

  • Encouraging the adoption of industry-developed internationally-recognized standards that ensure market access for U.S. products and services
  • Helping business leaders to leverage free trade agreements to the advantage of U.S. industry
  • Demonstrating U.S. products and services abroad
  • Creating a U.S.A. pavilion at a foreign trade show
  • Establishing technical servicing of U.S. products and services abroad
  • Establishing a trade association office in a target market
  • Training foreign staff for after-sale service of U.S. products in target markets

The International Trade Administration (ITA) strengthens the competitiveness of U.S. industry, promotes trade and investment, and ensures fair trade through the enforcement of trade laws and agreements. With regard to the priorities listed below, each applicant must demonstrate how its proposed project will help ITA to address priority 1, and at least two of the priorities 2-6. ITA is interested in receiving proposals that:

  1. Create or sustain U.S. jobs by increasing or maintaining exports
  2. Increase exports by any of the following U.S. industries: agricultural equipment, aircraft and aerospace parts, alcoholic beverages, architectural services, automotive parts, building products and sustainable construction, civil nuclear power, cloud computing, cold supply chain, construction equipment, defense products, education services, environmental technologies, financial technologies and services, franchising, health information technology, health services, industrial automation, insurance, media and entertainment, machinery and machinery technologies, medical devices, oil and gas, pharmaceuticals, recreational vehicles, renewable energy, renewable fuels, smart grid technology, semiconductors and related products and services, travel and tourism, and/or textiles and apparel
  3. Help U.S. businesses to secure export financing
  4. Engage more U.S. businesses in major international trade shows and other significant foreign outreach activities
  5. Help U.S. businesses to succeed in the digital economy
  6. Help current exporters to expand to more markets
  7. Address non-tariff barriers to U.S. exports such as discriminatory regulations, local content requirements, onerous standards or conformity assessment procedures, and other measures that may be unreasonably trade restrictive
  8. Secure strong intellectual property rights protection and combat counterfeiting and piracy
  9. Counter discriminatory trade policies such as “indigenous innovation” or “localization”
  10. Participate in the formulation and encourage the adoption of standards that are industry-developed, market-driven, science-based, and internationally recognized
  11. When appropriate, encourage the development of aligned regulatory requirements that avoid unnecessary costs on businesses

An application is not judged based on how many priorities it claims its project will address, but rather by how well its project addresses priority 1, at least two of priorities 2-6, and any of priorities 7-11 that may be relevant.

Amount: A total of $2,000,000 is available to fund up to 10 cooperative agreements, ranging from $50,000-$300,000. The project period is three to five years. A cooperator must contribute at least two dollars for each federal dollar received. The first dollar’s-worth of contribution must be cash, the second dollar can be either cash or an in-kind contribution worth one dollar.

Eligibility: Trade associations; state departments of trade and their regional associations; and nonprofit industry organizations, including organizations such as World Trade Centers, centers for international trade development, and small business development centers. In cases where no entity described above represents the industry, private industry firms or groups of firms may be eligible to apply for an MDCP award. Such private industry firms or groups of firms must provide documentation in their eligibility determination request demonstrating that no entity in the first three categories listed below represents their industry. Please see the solicitation for more information regarding eligibility.

Link: http://trade.gov/mdcp/contact.asp

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