Foreign Market Development Cooperator Program
FOREIGN AGRICULTURAL SERVICE, DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
Agricultural Trade Act of 1978, Title VII, 7 U.S.C. 5721, et seq.
To create, maintain and expand long-term export markets for U.S. agricultural products through cost-share assistance and the opportunity to work closely with FAS and its overseas offices.
Types of Assistance
Direct Payments for Specified Use.
Uses and Use Restrictions
Cooperator funds are authorized through program agreements with nonprofit U.S. trade associations called Cooperators, that provide for partial reimbursement of generic promotional activities in a Unified Export Strategy application approved by the Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS), the agency which administers the program for the Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC). In general, Cooperator funds may be used only in direct support of activities conducted outside the United States. Types of activities that may be funded include trade servicing, market research, and technical assistance to actual or potential foreign purchasers of U.S. commodities.
The Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) enters into agreements with those nonprofit U.S. trade organizations that have the broadest possible producer representation of the commodity being promoted. To be approved, an applicant's proposal must indicate how it can effectively contribute to the creation, expansion, or maintenance of markets abroad. FAS considers a number of factors when reviewing proposed projects. These factors include: (1) The applicant's willingness to contribute resources including cash and goods and services of the U.S. industry and foreign third party; (2) the ability of the organization to provide an experienced U.S.-based staff and with technical and international trade expertise to ensure adequate development, supervision and execution of the proposed project; (3) the degree to which the proposed project is likely to contribute to the development, expansion, or maintenance of foreign markets; and (4) the degree to which the strategic plan is coordinated with other private or U.S. government-funded market development projects.
Preference is given to nonprofit U.S. trade organizations which are nationwide in membership and scope.
U.S. applicants must prove the ability to provide a competent experienced staff and other resources to assure adequate development, supervision, and execution of promotional activities. Applicants must submit a written export strategy which provides a brief discussion of the commodity for which an agreement is being requested and a description of proposed activities including the foreign countries in which they will be conducted. Applicants must also submit their Internal Revenue Service tax exempt identification number, a Dun and Bradstreet Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number, a description of the membership of the applicant organization, a description of the organizations management and administrative capability, the degree to which membership represents national production, an estimate of the level of Government funds required, and the extent to which industry resources are available to match Government expenditures. This program is excluded from coverage under OMB Circular No. A-87.
Application and Award Process
None. This program is excluded from coverage under E.O. 12372 and OMB Circular No. A-102.
Each year the availability of funds is announced in a Federal Register notice. At this time a written export strategy should be submitted to the Director, Marketing Operations Staff, FAS. This program is excluded from coverage under OMB Circular No. A-110.
Applications are reviewed against the allocation criteria and factors set forth in 7 CFR part 1484 and the Federal Register program announcement. CCC notifies each applicant of the final disposition of its application and also issues a public announcement concerning the allocation of resources among the applicant organizations. Each approved applicant receives a program agreement and an allocation/marketing plan approval letter which specifies any special terms and conditions applicable to a cooperator's program. Final agreement occurs when both the participating organization and the Administrator of FAS in the Administrator's capacity as Vice President, CCC, sign the program agreement.
Application deadline is announced in the form of a Federal Register notice.
Range of Approval/Disapproval Time
Approximately 90 days.
Formula and Matching Requirements
A cooperator's contribution requirement will be specified in the export strategy approval letter. Cooperators must contribute at least 50 percent of the value of resources provided by CCC for activities conducted under the project agreement. Such contribution may be in the form of cash, goods or services.
Length and Time Phasing of Assistance
Agreements generally include a twelve-month promotional effort and a provision for program evaluation by an independent third party. Funds awarded in any given fiscal year are typically available for two additional years.
Post Assistance Requirements
Expense reports are submitted to claim reimbursement for expenses incurred. Trip reports are submitted within 45 days of completion of travel. A summary of expenses by country and cost code as well as contributions are submitted no later than January 31 following the end of the marketing plan year.
Cooperator accounts are reviewed periodically, but normally at least every two years, by representatives of the Compliance Review Staff, FAS. Audits and reviews are also conducted sporadically by representatives of the Office of Inspector General and Government Accounting Office. Accounts and records must be available for inspection or audit at any reasonable time.
Records must be maintained for not less than 3 years after completion or termination of the agreement or not less than 5 full calendar years following the year of the transaction that is evidenced by such an account or record that took place, whichever is sooner.
(Direct payments) FY 07 $34,500,000; FY 08 est not available; and FY 09 est not reported.
Range and Average of Financial Assistance
$11,000 to $7,000,000; $1,243,000.
Regulations, Guidelines and Literature
7 CFR Part 1484.
Regional or Local Office
Deputy Administrator, Commodity and Marketing Programs, Foreign Agricultural Service, Department of Agriculture, Washington, DC 20250. Telephone: (202) 720-4761.
Web Site Address
10.601, Market Access Program
Examples of Funded Projects
(1) Promotion of U.S. soybeans through soymeal livestock feeding trials worldwide, and production and distribution of technical and trade publications throughout South America and South Asia directed towards institutional users; (2) promotion of U.S. forest products through trade exhibits in the United Kingdom, participation in the deliberations of international codes and standards organizations, and trade seminars worldwide demonstrating American building techniques; (3) promotion of U.S. seed through participation in international regulatory organizations to mitigate both tariff and nontariff barriers to U.S. seed exports; and (4) promotion of U.S. poultry through trade seminars in Mexico.
Criteria for Selecting Proposals
Allocations are made in a manner that effectively support the strategic decisionmaking initiatives of the Government Performance and Results Act (GPRA) of 1993. In assessing whether the applicant will effectively create, expand or maintain foreign markets, the following factors are considered: (1) effectiveness of program management; (2) past and present contribution levels; (3) soundness of the strategic plan; (4) past export performance; and (5) past demand expansion performance (6) future demand expansion goals; and (7) accuracy of past demand expansion projections.