Four Louisiana companies or organizations — three of them in the New Orleans area — received federal awards Wednesday for significant contributions to increasing American exports.
U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker honored 65 U.S. companies and organizations that export goods or services.
E Awards for Export Services went to the International Freight Forwarders & Customs Brokers Association in Metairie and to Louisiana Tax Free Shopping in New Orleans. The award recognizes recipients that assist and facilitate export activities.
An E Award for Exports went to SPF Depot in Bossier City for demonstrating a sustained increase in export sales throughout several years.
It Straps On Inc. in Covington received an E Star Award for Exports, which recognizes previous E Award winners who have reported four years of additional export growth.
“By selling made-in-America goods and services internationally, U.S. business can grow faster, hire more employees, pay higher wages and help spread American ideas, innovation and values,” Pritzker said. “Last year, exports supported 11.3 million jobs with U.S. goods and services exports reaching a record $2.3 trillion.”
Pritzker said the Obama administration’s National Export Initiative will help more businesses of all sizes sell their goods and services to the 95 percent of customers that live outside the United States.
In existence since 1913, the International Freight Forwarders & Customs Brokers Association consists of licensed international freight forwarders, customs brokers and transportation service providers located in the Southeast with expertise in providing international transportation services nationwide. The organization works with U.S. government agencies involved in international shipping to ensure the rights and interests of importers, exporters and members are protected.
The Louisiana Tax Free Shopping program offers international visitors to the state the opportunity to receive cash refunds for sales taxes paid on items purchased at participating tax-free stores in the state. Visitors can apply for refunds at seven locations in New Orleans, Metairie, Baton Rouge, Lafayette, Bossier City and Louis Armstrong International Airport.
It Straps On Inc. manufactures stainless steel banding, buckles, wing seals and sign brackets used in the oil and gas industry, as well as to mount signs, traffic control and electrical devices.
SPF Depot is a distributor for 3M, North Safety, MSA, IPM, FOMO and Allegro Safety products.