As evidence of NEMA's continued influence in international markets, the Commerce Department announced this week that our organization received one of five new Market Development Cooperator Program (MDCP) awards for 2010-2013. This is NEMA's second MDCP award from Commerce — the first, which runs from 2007-2010, was given for NEMA to promote U.S. electrical standards and products in Central America.
While MDCP's are designed to promote American competitiveness overseas, this Commerce Department award reflects the Obama administration's interest in modernizing the electrical grid. Electricity doesn't stop at our borders — we buy and sell power to Canada and Mexico, but our electricity distribution systems are not particularly compatible. With this MDCP award, NEMA's goal is to help the United States, Canada, and Mexico coordinate their efforts in developing a North American Smart Grid, so that North America has a more secure, robust, and reliable electrical distribution system.
This news represents a twofold win for NEMA's members: First, it supports NEMA's efforts to promote advanced U.S. electrical products to our two largest trading partners; and second, it clearly shows that this association has significant respect and support in key federal agencies.