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MDCP Competition Period: How ITA Can Help


  During the competition period, International Trade Administraion (ITA) officials may communicate with MDCP applicants. There is much that ITA officials can share even during the competition period. But there are some restrictions. See the table below for a summary. [a]  
Competition period: Permitted communication
Competition Period 2016: Jan. 15 - Mar. 15
Before & after competition period
ITA officials brainstorming project ideas, markets to target, partners to include, etc.
No [b]
Yes, encouraged
Requesting & receiving from ITA information or referrals to information sources.
Yes, encouraged [c]
Yes, encouraged [c]
Potential applicant sending a summary of an intended MDCP project to an ITA official.
Yes [d]
ITA officials commenting to potential applicant on the strengths and weaknesses of a project summary or draft application.
No [e]
Yes, encouraged
ITA official writing a letter of support for the MDCP project.
No [f]
No [f]
ITA official responding to technical questions such as how to assemble a project budget, calculate travel expenses, or complete a form.
Speaking with ITA officials generally.
  [a] The ITA program areas involved in every MDCP project are Industry & Analysis (I&A) and Global Markets (GM). "ITA official" encompasses any and all ITA employees, including I&A industry specialists, GM desk officers, GM/Commercial Service U.S.Export Assistance Center staff, GM/Commercial Service locally-engaged staff in foreign posts, and GM/Foreign Commercial Service Officers.  
  [b] ITA may communicate with potential MDCP applicants but may notbrainstorm project ideas with an applicant or serve as a sounding board for such ideas.  
  [c] For example, in order to prepare its MDCP application a potential applicant may need to know the cost and timing for Gold Key Service (GKS) packages for several of its members. By all means, this is the sort of information, even accompanied by general suggestions about using GKS or other CS services, that would be appropriate for anyone planning to use them.  
  [d] Sending a project summary to an ITA official can help by provides context for a request for information. It can also flag the ITA official that the organization intends to submit an MDCP application so that the official will review it when requested after the competition period ends.  
  [e] After the deadline for submitting applications, ITA officials worldwide are invited to provide frank comments on MDCP applications. These comments are privileged from public disclosure. These comments help the ITA merit review panel in its scoring and ranking of applications.  
  [f] Officials are instructed not to provide MDCP applicants with letters of support.  


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