2018 trade mission

Costa Rica – May 21-22, 2018

The Auto Care Association and the International Trade Administration are excited to announce a 2018 trade mission to Central America, as part of the Market Development Cooperator Program (MDCP) award the association received from the U.S. Department of Commerce to support export promotion projects in Latin America.

Trade mission participants enjoy private one-on-one meetings with prospective customers and partners. This is a cost-effective opportunity to gain first-hand market information, save time and maximize your results!

Read testimonials from past trade mission participants.

The trade mission is open to all companies in the industry. Qualifying companies will receive a $2,000 upfront offset of the package price!

Space is limited. Register here!

Why Costa Rica?

  • Costa Rica’s proximity to the U.S. is a major opportunity for U.S. exporters. With ports of entry on both coasts, U.S. exporters from the West, Gulf and East Coasts can have products in Costa Rica in less than a week and can easily travel to meet with sales representatives, distributors or end clients within the same day.
  • The United States is Costa Rica’s main trading partner, accounting for about 47 percent of Costa Rica’s total imports.
  • Under the Central America-Dominican Republic Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA-DR), 100 percent of U.S. consumer and industrial goods exports to the region are no longer subject to tariffs.
  • Costa Rica’s economic and political stability have made it historically the leader in the region for international business and tourism.

Trade Mission Packages Include:

  • Personalized business-to-business meetings through the U.S. Commercial Service targeted to meet your specific goals and objectives.
  • U.S Embassy country briefing.
  • On-site interpreters.
  • Hotel accommodations, airport transfers and local ground transportation.
  • Most meals.
  • Pre-mission webinar.
  • Conference call with U.S. Embassy specialist to review specific goals/objectives.

Tentative Itinerary

Monday, May 21:
    Delegation arrives in San Jose, Costa Rica  
Tuesday, May 22:

    U.S. Embassy country briefing  
    Personalized business-to-business meetings                                                                                                                                                                                  Delegation dinner

Wednesday, May 23:
    Participants return to the United States on own itinerary


Qualifying companies will receive a $2,000 offset of the trade mission package for each country!

Cost After Offset
Auto Care Association Members $ 4,100 $ 2,100
Non-Members $ 4,600 $ 2,600
Each Additional Participant Members $ 500
Each Additional Participant Non-Members $ 600

Trade mission package includes: B2B meetings through U.S. Commercial Service’s Gold Key Matchmaking Service; admission to trade mission events: country briefing, lunch and dinner on May 22; hotel accommodations (inc. breakfast); transportation to/from the airport; local ground transportation to mission-related events; interpretation services during B2B meetings; pre-mission webinar; conference call with embassy specialists to review specific goals/objectives. Not included: expenses for airfare, non-specified meals and incidentals.

Additional state funds are available for qualifying participating companies through the State Trade Expansion Program (“STEP”). For more information, visit https://www.sba.gov/managing-business/exporting/step.


The deadline to register is April 6, 2018.

We will review your application and obtain preliminary feedback from the U.S. commercial specialists in the country. You will then be notified regarding the potential for your product and qualification to participate in the mission.
Space is limited. Register here!

Reporting Requirements

Participants receiving an offset agree to submit confidential quarterly reports for one year to discuss your export results based on your participation in the trade mission. Information collected may include:

  • Approximate dollar value and number of sales, types of goods/services sold;
  • Confirmation of export-related contracts formed; and
  • Any other examples of your success in these countries.

Determining Eligibility

Participants receiving an offset under the MDCP award can only market products that are 51 percent U.S.-content.
  • If not of U.S. origin, the participant must self-certify that their goods/services contain at least 51 percent U.S. content based on invoice value. The inputs in this value determination include not only the foreign produced components, but also the design, engineering, packaging, assembly, etc. that factor into the final invoice value.
  • U.S. content for manufactured goods = (ex-factory price of a good) minus (aggregate value contributed by non-U.S. or foreign sources [e.g., costs or payments to foreign suppliers/providers/employees not resident in the United States]).
  • The "ex-factory price of a good" and "contract value of the service" should reflect the actual price paid or payable for the goods or services. No additions to ex-factory price or contract value based on costs or other expenses are therefore appropriate.

Cancellation Policy

By submitting your application, you are confirming your attendance as a trade mission participant. Should you need to modify or cancel your registration, please send requests in writing to carolina.arregoces@autocare.org

Full refunds will be processed for cancellations received six weeks prior to the trade mission start date. Cancellations received after six weeks will receive a 50 percent refund. No refunds will be processed for cancellations received five weeks before the trade mission.

Space is limited. Register here!

For more information regarding the Auto Care Association’s trade missions or other international opportunities, please contact Carolina Arregoces at carolina.arregoces@autocare.org or 240-333-1037.

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