U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross today presented the Alabama Department of Commerce with the President’s “E” Award for Export Service, the highest recognition an organization can receive for contributing to the expansion of U.S. exports.
At a ceremony in the nation’s capital, Ross said the Alabama Department of Commerce has demonstrated a sustained commitment to increasing exports.
“The ‘E’ Awards Committee was very impressed with the department’s formation of the Export Alabama Alliance,” he noted. “The department’s contributions to the export growth of Alabama companies through international trade missions were also particularly notable.
“The Alabama Department of Commerce’s achievements have undoubtedly contributed to national export efforts that support the U.S. economy and create American jobs,” he added.
Alabama companies exported a record $21.7 billion in goods and services during 2017, led by shipments of motor vehicles, chemicals, primary metals, minerals, aircraft components and paper products to 189 foreign countries.
Alabama’s exports have surged 21 percent since 2011 and 50 percent over a decade, reflecting a long-term growth trend.
“We are extremely honored to receive the President’s ‘E’ Award,” Alabama Commerce Secretary Greg Canfield said. “Alabama companies are creating good-paying jobs as a result of exporting their products throughout the world, and exports of goods and services continue to be an economic engine that spurs job creation and economic investment.”
The Alabama Department of Commerce’s Office of International Trade helps businesses across the state identify and penetrate foreign markets for their homegrown products. Over many years, the office has staged a series of trade and business development missions to countries around the globe, most recently to Argentina and Ecuador in April.
“The Alabama International Trade program has proven to be a tremendous resource for the state’s small and medium-sized companies,” said Hilda Lockhart, director of Commerce’s Office of International Trade. “Assisting them in finding international markets for Alabama-made products is the key to growing exports and jobs at home.
“Receiving this prestigious award validates the hard work that all members of the Export Alabama Alliance have accomplished since it was formed in 2004,” she added.
The Export Alabama Alliance is a seamless network of international trade agencies with the fundamental objective of helping Alabama companies expand their business internationally.
Lockhart and Beau Lore, an international trade specialist in the Office of International Trade, were on hand at the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Herbert C. Hoover building on Constitution Avenue to receive the award.
In total, Ross honored 43 U.S. companies and organizations from across the country with the President’s “E” Award for their role in strengthening the U.S. economy by sharing American ingenuity in foreign markets.
U.S. companies are nominated for the “E” Awards through the U.S. Commercial Service, part of the department’s International Trade Administration (ITA). With offices across the United States and in embassies and consulates around the world, the ITA lends its expertise at every stage of the exporting process.
U.S. exports totaled $2.33 trillion in 2017, accounting for 12 percent of U.S. gross domestic product. Exports supported an estimated 10.7 million jobs nationwide in 2016, according to the most recent ITA statistics.
Republished with the permission of the Alabama Newscenter.