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Aftermarket Association Tapped by U.S. Government to Boost Exports


The Auto Care Association will receive $299,345 from the International Trade Administration’s (ITA) Market Development Cooperator Program (MDCP) to help the automotive industry produce exports to Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and Peru, according to Stefan M. Selig, the U.S. Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade. These funds are expected to generate an estimated $55 million in exports during the next three years by U.S. companies, according to the the ITA.

“With 96 percent of the world’s consumers living outside of our borders, exporting is a sure path to growth, prosperity and good-paying jobs.” Selig said. “The Auto Care Association recognizes the positive impact exporting can have on the bottom line for their member organizations. MDCP awards to groups like the Auto Care Association are part of President Obama’s government-wide strategy to strengthen America’s economy by increasing exports.” 

The Auto Care Association will match the MDCP grant with a significant investment of its own resources, according to the group. MDCP grant recipients must pledge at least two-thirds of the project costs and to sustain its project after the initial MDCP award period ends, according to the association. The funded project will allow the Auto Care Association to expand U.S. exports by: 1) leading outbound trade missions; 2) hosting technical seminars; and 3) facilitating buyer-seller meetings at the Automotive Aftermarket Products Expo (AAPEX) in Las Vegas. 

“We are very appreciative of this award,” said Kathleen Schmatz, president and CEO of the Auto Care Association. “Like many in the auto care industry, the U.S. Department of Commerce and the ITA recognize that the developing automotive market in Latin America holds tremendous export, business development and job creation opportunities for U.S. companies. We are committed to identifying and promoting business opportunities for our members globally, and this new partnership with ITA will play a central role in helping our members enter and develop market share in key export markets.” 

Each MDCP grant includes financial and technical assistance from ITA to support well-defined business plans aimed at strengthening an industry by increasing exports, according to the Auto Care Association.

Five nonprofit industry groups are receiving similar MDCP awards this year. These projects are estimated to eventually generate more than $653 million in U.S. exports in the next three years in return for the one-time $1.4 million federal investment, according to the ITA. 

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