By Della Domingo
From Left to Right: Kenneth E. Hyatt, acting deputy undersecretary for International Trade U.S. Department of Commerce International Trade Administration; Scooter Brothers, SEMA chairman of the Board; Linda Spencer, SEMA international and government relations director; and Rebecca M. Blank, U.S. acting secretary of commerce.
U.S. Acting Secretary of Commerce Rebecca Blank has presented SEMA with the President’s “E” Award for Export Service at a ceremony in Washington, D.C. The “E” Awards are the highest recognition any U.S. entity may receive for making a significant contribution to the expansion of U.S. exports.
“As a trade association, SEMA seeks to help member companies grow and expand their businesses,” said Chris Kersting, SEMA president and CEO. “One of the many ways SEMA helps its members grow is through exporting. For many of our members, exporting products to key international markets is integral to their success, and SEMA is available to help identify strategic markets and guide members along the way.”
“SEMA has demonstrated a sustained commitment to export expansion,” said Blank in her congratulatory letter. “The ‘E’ Awards Committee was very impressed with SEMA’s International Vehicle Measuring Program. The organization’s work to support the developing legal frameworks for emerging specialty-equipment industries in China and the United Arab Emirates was particularly compelling. SEMA’s achievements have undoubtedly contributed to national export expansion efforts that support the U.S. economy and create American jobs.”
SEMA’s international relations program helps its members grow their businesses in key overseas markets. The program includes international research to identify developing markets, working with international officials on legislative issues, creating venues for SEMA members to connect with international buyers and more.
Criteria for the award is based on four years of successive export growth and case studies, which demonstrate valuable support to exporters resulting in increased exports for the company’s clients.
U.S. exports hit an all-time record of $2.2 trillion in 2012, and supported nearly 10 million American jobs. President Obama’s National Export Initiative, which aims to double U.S. exports by the end of 2014 and support an additional 2 million jobs in the United States, is opening new avenues for U.S. exporters through enhanced export assistance and a strengthened trade agenda that is targeting emerging markets and industry sectors across the globe.
President Kennedy revived the World War II “E” symbol of excellence to honor and provide recognition to America's exporters. The “E” Award Program was established by Executive Order 10978 on December 5, 1961. A total of 57 U.S. companies were presented with the President’s “E” Award this year.