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Market Development Cooperator Program
Partnering to help U.S. companies compete in international markets


Program Description

An MDCP award establishes a partnership between ITA and non-profit industry groups like trade associations and standards-developing organizations. 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 address trade barriers, enhance industry competitiveness, and generate exports that create or sustain U.S. jobs. 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 2018, projects generated $357 in exports for every $1 of MDCP awards made.

MDCP Projects Generate Exports that Create or Sustain U.S. Jobs

Help Organizations that Help Companies

While MDCP financial assistance awards go to trade associations and other non-profit industry groups, the ultimate beneficiaries of MDCP-funded projects are individual U.S. businesses and the U.S. workers they employ. The average MDCP project lasts over three years and generates $100 million in exports, or about $33 million per year (100/3=33). On average, one U.S. job is created or sustained for every $180,000 in exports. Accordingly, the average MDCP project creates or sustains 183 U.S. jobs per year ($33,000,000/$180,000=183).

On average there are 18 MDCP projects at any given time, so in average year, MDCP-project-generated exports create or sustain about 3300 jobs (183 x 18 = 3294).

The principal measurement of performance is exports generated by MDCP project activity.

See select examples of exports generated by MDCP projects. For many U.S. firms, exports are not possible until trade barriers are removed. Read about some of the MDCP projects that are addressing trade barriers.

List of all MDCP projects.

Some U.S. companies may be interested in licensing technology to foreign business partners. Such a transaction would be considered to be an export; however, it would not be an export that creates or sustains U.S. jobs. Any export sale that does not tend to create U.S. jobs or to sustain current U.S. jobs is not the type of export that MDCP projects should be designed to support.

Individual Award Limit of $300,000

Funds may be expended over a minimum of three years at whatever rate makes sense for the project undertaken. The project period may not exceed five years.

Flyer: This two-page flyer is the same one that is available in hard-copy from U.S. Export Assistance Centers (USEACs) nationwide as well as from other ITA staff based in Washington, DC. Linking to this flyer avoids printing, but additional print copies can be ordered  here.

A PowerPoint presentation includes a general overview of how the program works.

Announcement of the 2020 MDCP competition was published February 27, 2020. Applications are due April 27, 2020. As noted in Competition Basics for 2020, potential applicants should contact ITA as soon as possible.


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2020 MDCP Competition

Proposals for 2020 MDCP Competition are Due April 27, 2020.

On February 27, 2020, the International Trade Administration (ITA) published a notice inviting the submission of applications for Market Development Cooperator Program (MDCP) awards. Applications will be due April 27. The notice will be published on and on this site

Contact MDCP Director, Brad Hess to discuss your application.