Ronald Reagan picture

Remarks at the Presentation Ceremony for the President's "E" and "E Star" Awards

May 23, 1983

The President. Thank you very much, and welcome to the White House. It's always a pleasure to welcome America's entrepreneurs to our beautiful national home set on these lovely grounds.

I know the high-risk, rough-and-tumble world of business that you come from is no rose garden, so, you deserve to spend some time here once in a while. As a matter of fact, there are some words of hospitality from our Latin American friends, Mi casa, su casa. My house is your house. Well, I can say that literally, because it is your house. It's all America's house.

Since this is World Trade Week, there couldn't be a better time to receive you and to present the well-deserved "E" and "E Star" awards for achievement in exporting. America's future growth and prosperity depend on how well we find and open and compete in foreign markets.

Exports mean jobs for our people, profits for our businesses, and growth for our economy. Already, one out of eight manufacturing jobs and one in three agricultural jobs relate directly to exporting. Yet, 90 percent of American manufacturers—90 percent-do not export at all. We believe there are tens of thousands of American enterprises, many of them small- and medium-size businesses like some of yours, that could compete successfully in foreign markets, but they don't. There's a $2 trillion market out there that's just waiting for us.

We have the talent, the skills, and the products to compete. We just need to encourage American business to take up the challenge. Those of you here have been in the forefront of the export effort so far, I know. We hope your highly successful and profitable examples will encourage others.

Our administration has a plan to help our exports. First, we're laying an economic foundation of noninflationary growth, incentives, and thrift. Second, we're working with our trading partners to open more markets to you and to move toward trading practices that are at once more free and more fair. And third, we've taken the lead in assisting international financial and trade. institutions. We hope that by encouraging more stable and growth-oriented economies abroad, we will not only create more international demand for our goods, but we'll also bolster freedom, democracy, and security.

One of the legislative achievements I'm most proud of is the Export Trading Company Act. Enacted last year, it's already providing thousands of small- and medium-sized businesses with new opportunities in foreign trade. By removing impediments to trade and permitting more efficient sale of American products abroad, we believe this act will increase our exports by up to $11 billion by 1985. And that could translate into hundreds of thousands of jobs for our people.

But the real key to export expansion lies in the efforts of people like you who have the vision to see an opportunity and the gumption to take the chance. We're all grateful for your initiative and cheer your success. Congratulations to not only the awards you present today but on the hard work that won them for you.

And now it's my privilege to present these "E" and "E Star" awards for excellence in exporting. But to do that, Paul, you'll have to lend a hand.

Mr. Lyet. 1 All right. I'm delighted to do that, Mr. President.

1 J. Paul Lyet, Chairman of the President's Export Council.

The first awardee: Atlantic Antibodies, Inc., Scarborough, Maine. This company is an excellent example of a successful, smaller exporter. It developed a very effective export marketing program, overcoming many problems such as tariff barriers and foreign competition in exporting its diagnostic products used in clinical and research laboratories. And, accepting the award, Mr. William Dickson, president.

Mr. President, our second awardee is CRS Group, Inc., Houston, Texas, an architectural engineering firm that exports well above the 14.7-percent average for the top 500 firms in the design industry through innovative marketing techniques that successfully deal with a multitude of nontariff obstacles and through perceptive understanding of local needs and customs. Particularly significant is this company's specifications calling for U.S. materials and equipment which generate billions of dollars of exports for other American companies. Accepting the award is Mr. Thomas A. Bullock, the chairman.

The Colonial Beef Company, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. This small company, in addition to exporting 25 percent of its own meat products, is actively working with the U.S. Meat Export Federation and the United States Government to pursue furthering meat exports from all American companies. And accepting the award, Mr. Louis E. Waxman, president.

The Hartz Seed Company, Stuttgart, Arkansas, is a family-owned firm exporting 34 percent of its soybean seed to 24 markets worldwide, developing special products for special markets. Especially significant is this small company's penetration of the Japanese market. Accepting the award, Mr. Jacob Hartz, Jr., chairman emeritus.

Manitowoc Engineering Company from Manitowoc, Wisconsin, increased its exports of crawler cranes and excavators to 41 percent of its total sales at a time when that industry's exports were declining. Making arrangements for training and spare parts, which are often overlooked by many American firms but certainly not our foreign competitors, attributed to their success. And accepting the award is Mr. P. Ralph Helm, the president.

The next awardee is the National Association of Export Companies, receives an "E" award for export service. This organization has done an outstanding, painstaking job assisting small- and medium-sized exporters and is now working with them to establish export trading companies. Accepting the award is Mr. Andrew N. Ferretti.

Beech Aircraft, Wichita, Kansas, has done such a steadily superior job of exporting its general aviation aircraft and aerospace products that this is its second award—the President's "E Star" award for continued excellence in exporting. This large company is making a major contribution to our balance of payments through the dollar volume of its sales. And accepting the award, Mr. William Rutherford, vice president for government relations.

Next, Mr. President, the Florida Department of Commerce in Tallahassee, Florida, receives the Presidential "E Star" for export service in recognition of its continued excellence in promoting exports in the State of Florida, and serves as an example for other States to follow in promoting their exports. Accepting the award, Mr. Wayne Mixson, lieutenant governor and secretary of commerce.

And last, but certainly by no means least, the Los Angeles Harbor Department of the Port of Los Angeles, San Pedro, California, has provided a large number of marketing and promotional and educational services to all exporters, and especially assists and encourages smaller and new exporters. Growth in cargo exported from the harbor should continue to increase at a rapid rate as a result of development of a container transfer facility, a coal exporting facility, and ocean container terminals. And accepting the award, Mr. Ernest Perry, executive director.

Mr. President, that completes our—[inaudible].

The President. Well, thank all of you again. And I know it's getting warm out here in the Rose Garden. We had our spring one day, oh, a couple of weeks ago. It's now summer.

God bless you all. Thank you.

Note: The President spoke at 1:30 p.m. in the Rose Garden at the White House.

Ronald Reagan, Remarks at the Presentation Ceremony for the President's "E" and "E Star" Awards Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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