Market Development Cooperator Program (MDCP) awards include financial and technical assistance from the International Trade Administration (ITA) to support projects that enhance the global competitiveness of U.S. industries. An MDCP award establishes a partnership between ITA and non-profit industry groups such as trade associations and chambers of commerce. Such groups are particularly effective in reaching small- and medium-size enterprises. The non-profit groups compete for a limited number of MDCP awards by proposing innovative projects that enhance their industry's competitive position. Industry groups pledge to pay a minimum of two-thirds of the project cost and to sustain the project after the MDCP award period ends. On average from 1997 through 2012 projects generated $258 in exports for every $1 of MDCP awards made.
Individual award limit of $300,000.
Funds may be expended over the period of time required to complete a project, but the period cannot exceed three years.
The principal measurement of competitiveness enhancement is exports generated by MDCP project activity.
In the program's enabling legislation, the Omnibus Trade and Competitiveness Act of 1988, Congress cited the MDCP as a unique way to "develop, maintain and expand foreign markets for nonagricultural U.S. goods and services." (See 15 USC 4723.) Congress included the program in the Jobs Through Exports Act of 1992 to generate new jobs, and in the Freedom Support Act of 1992 to help provide technical assistance to the Newly Independent States. The first MDCP awards, totalling over $2 million, were made in fiscal 1993 .
More facts about the History of MDCP Funding.
Overview of Essentials
Other Helpful Information