15 U.S. Code § 4723 - Market Development Cooperator Program
(a) Authority of Secretary of Commerce
In order to promote further the exportation of goods and services from the United States, the Secretary of Commerce is authorized to establish, in the International Trade Administration of the Department of Commerce, a Market Development Cooperator Program. The purpose of the program is to develop, maintain, and expand foreign markets for nonagricultural goods and services produced in the United States.
(b) Implementation of Program
The Secretary of Commerce shall carry out the Market Development Cooperator Program by entering into contracts with—
(3) State departments of trade and their regional associations, including centers for international trade development, and
(4) private industry firms or groups of firms in cases where no entity described in paragraph (1), (2), or (3) represents that industry,
(in this section referred to as “cooperators”) to engage in activities in order to carry out the purpose of the Market Development Cooperator Program set forth in subsection (a) of this section. The costs of activities under such a contract shall be shared equitably among the Department of Commerce, the cooperator involved, and, whenever appropriate, foreign businesses. The Department of Commerce shall undertake to support direct costs of activities under such a contract, and the cooperator shall undertake to support indirect costs of such activities. Activities under such a contract shall be carried out by the cooperator with the approval and assistance of the Secretary.
(c) Cooperator partnership program
(1) In general
(A) As part of the Market Development Cooperator Program established under subsection (a) of this section, the Secretary of Commerce shall establish a partnership program with cooperators under which a cooperator may detail individuals, subject to the approval of the Secretary, to the United States and Foreign Commercial Service for a period of not less than 1 year or more than 2 years to supplement the Commercial Service.
(B) Any individual detailed to the United States and Foreign Commercial Service under this subsection shall be responsible for such duties as the Secretary may prescribe in order to carry out the purpose of the Market Development Cooperator Program set forth in subsection (a) of this section.
(C) Individuals detailed to the United States and Foreign Commercial Service under this subsection shall not be considered to be employees of the United States for the purposes of any law administered by the Office of Personnel Management, except that the Secretary of State may determine the applicability to such individuals of section 2669 (f) of title 22 and of any other law administered by the Secretary of State concerning the detail of such individuals abroad.
(2) Qualifications of participants
In order to qualify for the program established under this subsection, individuals shall have demonstrated expertise in the international business arena in at least 2 of the following areas: marketing, market research, and computer data bases.
(3) Expenses of the program
(A) The cooperator who details an individual to the United States and Foreign Commercial Service under this subsection shall be responsible for that individual’s salary and related expenses, including health care, life insurance, and other noncash benefits, if any, normally paid by such cooperator.