U.S. Acting Secretary of Commerce Rebecca Blank this week presented The Gorman-Rupp Co. and Lincoln Electric Holdings with the President’s “E” Award for Exports 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.

“We are extremely honored to receive the Presidential “E” Award,” said Mark Kreinbihl, Gorman-Rupp Pumps group president. “Our company has been manufacturing pumps and related products in Mansfield, Ohio, for 80 years. Over the last 10-plus years export sales have seen a steady increase. Gorman-Rupp is focused on expanding its international reach as the key to continued growth. This growth in exports brings additional jobs to the Mansfield Division.”

Christopher Mapes, president and CEO of Lincoln Electric, also expressed pride in his company’s achievement. "We are honored to receive this prestigious award as exports are a core component of our global growth strategy, which focuses on expanding the reach of our leading arc welding and cutting solutions to customers worldwide," Mapes said. "Today, we export to 123 countries, which allows us to not only preserve, but expand our local work force while meeting the rising demand for our solutions."

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 Dec. 5, 1961. A total of 57 U.S. companies were presented with the President’s “E” Award this year.

U.S. companies are nominated for the “E” Award for Exports through the Department of Commerce’s U.S. and Foreign Commercial Service office network, located within the Department’s International Trade Administration, which has offices in 108 U.S. cities and more than 70 countries to help U.S. exporters.  Four years of successive export growth and an applicant’s demonstration of an innovative international marketing plan that led to the increase in exports is a significant factor in making the award.

The Gorman-Rupp Co. manufactures and sells pumps and related equipment for use in water, wastewater, construction, industrial, petroleum, original equipment, agriculture, military and other liquid-handling applications.

Lincoln Electric designs, develops and manufactures arc welding products, robotic arc welding systems, plasma and oxy-fuel cutting equipment and has a leading global position in the brazing and soldering alloys market.