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News, tips, and information for MDCP cooperators.

Trade Mission: Put It on the Radar Screen
Trade missions are the stock-in-trade of many MDCP projects. They don't happen without forethought and coordination. This is one reason each cooperator has a team of ITA professionals assigned to it. As mission organizer, the cooperator should complete a Certified Trade Mission (CTM) application at least six (6) months before the mission. Email it to each Commercial Service (CS) post on the itinerary. (CS staff at these posts are probably already members of the ITA team helping you.) CS will then put your trade mission on eMenu, its registry of trade missions. This is the shared "radar screen" that CS uses to keep track of the hundreds of missions at its scores of foreign posts each year. See for more details.

Certified versus USDOC
Yes, with your MDCP award you are a special partner of the U.S. Department of Commerce (USDOC). But this does not mean that the mission you are organizing is a USDOC mission. These missions, unlike CTMs, are those that USDOC initiates. They entail a very different coordination and approval process from that used for CTMs. If a USDOC official from the United States is to be participating on your mission, it is possible that your mission might need to be classified as a USDOC mission. To learn more about the distinction between USDOC mission and CTM, go to and choose "CTM vs Trade Mission." Talk this through with your team as soon as possible so that your mission gets classified correctly.

How To: More Details
If you are not sure what a CTM might entail, take a look at the "Presentation" on Before you begin an MDCP project team discussion of details of a mission, you should look at CS's Planning Guidelines and its standard Conditions of Participation. Doing so prior to your discussion with CS posts, USEAC staff, ITA/MAS team leader, and other ITA team members will make for a more productive meeting or conference call.



U.S. Commercial Service Guangzhou facilitated this visit to a power plant as part of a mission led by the Center for International Trade Development El Camino College.


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