Tomas Hult and Jade Sims pose with two U.S. Commerce officials while accepting the President's "E" Award

Tomas Hult and Jade Sims accept the President’s “E” Award on behalf of MSU-IBC.

Today, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross presented the Broad College of Business International Business Center with the President’s “E” Award for Export Service at a ceremony in Washington, D.C.

In total, Secretary Ross honored 48 U.S. companies with the President’s “E” Award, the highest recognition any U.S. entity can receive for making a significant contribution to the expansion of U.S. exports.

“The International Business Center has demonstrated a sustained commitment to export expansion. The ‘E’ Awards Committee was very impressed with the International Business Center’s case studies, which demonstrated measurable increases in its clients’ exports. Your organization’s creation of the Global Business Club was also particularly notable. The International Business Center’s achievements have undoubtedly contributed to national export expansion efforts that support the U.S. economy and create American jobs,” Secretary Ross said in his congratulatory letter to the International Business Center, announcing its selection as an award recipient.

MSU’s International Business Center, located in the Broad College of Business, is a provider of export services for small and medium-sized U.S. businesses. Its services include export counseling, strategic planning, customized market research and training on a wide range of exporting and international business issues.

“Exporting is crucial to the success of U.S. businesses, especially those in Michigan, which are integral to global supply chains,” said Tomas Hult, Byington Endowed Chair and Professor of Marketing and director of the International Business Center. “Every day we see the growth of our clients’ businesses, due in large part to exporting. This growth has enabled the companies touched through our direct outreach and programs and our web tools, including the globalEDGE website, to add jobs and support their local communities as they expand their bottom line. Buyers and consumers in foreign markets want quality products made in the United States, and we are honored to receive the ‘E’ Award.”

In 2018, U.S. exports were the highest on record with U.S. services at $821.1 billion and U.S. exports of goods reaching $1.7 trillion, demonstrating how American private enterprise can not only survive but thrive in the international market.

“Exporting can be a significant challenge for small and mid-sized businesses, but there are great resources in our community that can help companies tap into foreign markets,” said Kendra Kuo, director of U.S. Commercial Service in Grand Rapids. “MSU’s International Business Center’s innovative team of faculty, staff and students help businesses to compete globally. The U.S. Commercial Service frequently partners with MSU to offer trade education solutions. As a Spartan, I am proud of MSU’s consistent success in helping Michigan companies increase their export sales, and I believe their success exemplifies the spirit of the Department of Commerce’s ‘E’ Award.”

American companies are nominated for “E” Awards through the U.S. and Foreign Commercial Service office network, located within the U.S. Department of Commerce’s International Trade Administration. Record 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 selecting the overall winners.

For more information about the “E” Awards and the benefits of exporting, visit