The Holy Grail of the Modern Export World: Achieving the E-Star Awards

When a company is engaged in exporting, one of the highest awards it can win for its operations is the “E” and “E Star” awards. This award signifies outstanding growth of a company and is an honor commemorating success that has been achieved, as opposed to projected earnings or hypothetical success.

E Star award

The award is given by the President of the United States, and authorized by the Secretary of Commerce, and is meant to recognize businesses with outstanding growth in exports to other countries.

The History Of the Award

World War II gave birth to the idea of the “E” star award. During this time, an “E” pendant was given to war plants in recognition of excellence in production, most typically for their help funding and producing goods for the war.

After the war, this award was largely put on a shelf and forgotten until President Kennedy revived it in 1961. His idea was to recognize businesses with a special award for continued efforts in export expansion. During that time, exports were part of America’s growing success as a nation. This award helped encourage businesses to strive for national recognition.

Applying For The Award

Awards are not given out automatically. Businesses must apply for them, usually between November and January in any given year, for the coming year. So, for example, the 2016 award must be applied for between November 2015 and January 2016. There are two types of awards. The “E” award is for exports and is awarded to a company that has made significant contributions to the increase of American exports.

The President’s “E” Award for Expert Service is awarded to companies that are at least indirectly responsible for, or facilitate, export activities. They do not, however, have to be exporters themselves.

The main criteria for winning the award, is a business that has had four years of contributions to expansion of export business. All applications must explain and detail the results of their work and they should demonstrate how their business expansion has contributed to exports. They must also be able to measure that growth, and show innovation, sustainability of growth, and that their growth has broad impact on the economy.

All applications are reviewed by the local U.S. Export Assistance Center and are approved by the U.S. and Foreign Commercial Service Network Director.

To reduce paperwork overhead, all applications must be submitted electronically.

Companies That Have Won The Award – What It Takes

So, what does it take to become an “E” or “E Star” winner?

ISO Stainless, a company focusing on steel banding and strapping systems, has proved itself over many years of dedicated service to its customers. In 2008, it became the first Louisiana business to be awarded the “E” Award for Exports. Then, in 2014, it became one of just eight companies to receive the “E” Star Award for Exports, distinguishing it from almost every other business in the nation.

CTC Global is a California-based company that makes transmission wiring. It sells them in 28 countries and has just 110 employees, yet 70 percent of its business comes from international sales. Most of the transmission wiring is not sold domestically, so a company that gets into this industry is forced to be globally competitive. Most fail, but for those that do (like CTC), there’s a good chance that an “E” Award awaits them.


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