Highest honor for promoting trade awarded to MEDC

Kathy Achtenberg

Monday, May 22, 2017

Michigan Economic Development Corporation’s International Trade Program has received the president’s “E” Award

Michigan Economic Development Corporation’s International Trade Program has received the president’s “E” Award. Presented May 22 in Washington, D.C., the award is the highest recognition any U.S. entity can receive for making a significant contribution to the expansion of U.S. exports.

“In today’s globally interconnected world, export sales offer extraordinary opportunities for Michigan companies to grow and create new jobs,” said Lt. Governor Brian Calley. “This award reflects MEDC’s efforts to help Michigan businesses increase their sales by expanding into foreign markets, which ultimately results in more jobs for our residents.” 

“MEDC has demonstrated a sustained commitment to export expansion,” stated U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross in a congratulatory letter to MEDC.

The “E” Awards Committee noted MEDC’s collaborative work with strategic partners to educate Michigan exporters. The office’s sponsorship of more than 40 trade missions since 2012 was also particularly notable. MEDC’s achievements have contributed to national export expansion efforts that support the U.S. economy and create American jobs.” 

MEDC’s International Trade Program works to extend export opportunities to more Michigan companies and ensure they are connected with the resources to explore new markets, access existing export resources and increase global competitiveness. 

In fiscal year 2016, the program facilitated $523.9 million in sales to 121 countries, 53 percent over the actual sales from the previous year. Since it was re-established in 2011, the program has facilitated $1.5 billion in export sales. This equates to nearly 7,298 Michigan jobs created as a result of those sales (MEDC considers $210,000 equals one job).

Since 2012, the International Trade Program has sponsored 40 trade missions to 16 countries with more than 340 company participations. As part of company participation in the trade missions, MEDC arranges on-the-ground matchmaking meetings utilizing in-market specialists from Michigan’s international trade offices or from the International U.S. Commercial Service offices. Participants also receive in-market assistance, market briefings and opportunities to participate in networking events.

“Export sales help diversify companies’ customer bases, provide longer term stability and can support higher paying jobs,” said MEDC Chief Executive Officer Steve Arwood. “The International Trade Program helps Michigan companies identify and enter into new relationships with foreign markets, growing their businesses and bringing more and better jobs to Michigan residents.”

In total, 32 U.S. companies and organizations from across the country were honored today with the president’s “E” Award for their role in strengthening the U.S. economy by sharing American products outside of U.S. borders. 

U.S. companies are nominated for the “E” Awards through the U.S. Commercial Service, part of the Department’s International Trade Administration. With offices across the United States and in embassies and consulates around the world, International Trade Administration lends expertise of the exporting process by promoting exports and investment into the United States, administering anti-dumping and countervailing Duties orders, and removing trade barriers.

U.S. exports totaled $2.21 trillion in 2016, which accounted for nearly 12 percent of U.S. gross domestic product. Exports supported an estimated 11.5 million jobs nationwide in 2015, according to the most recent statistics from the International Trade Administration.

About the “E” Awards: In 1961, President Kennedy signed an executive order reviving the World War II “E” symbol of excellence to honor and provide recognition to America's exporters. 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. 

For more information about the “E” Awards and the benefits of exporting, visit www.export.gov.

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