Washington — R&M International Sales Corp., a trader of recycled plastics based in Fort Washington, Pa., has won a President's "E" Award for making a significant contribution to the expansion of U.S. exports.
U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross presented R&M officials with the award at a ceremony in Washington. Ross honored a select group of companies with the export award.
"R&M has demonstrated a sustained commitment to export expansion," Ross wrote in a congratulatory letter to the company, announcing its selection as an award recipient. "The 'E' Awards Committee was very impressed with R&M's near doubling of export sales over the past four years. I was impressed with your company's more than 40-year history of exporting. R&M's achievements have undoubtedly contributed to national export expansion efforts that support the U.S. economy and create American jobs."
R&M International's business is based on helping producers of raw materials in the textiles and plastics industries dispose of overproduction, substandard or waste materials. These materials are then either traded, repurposed or recycled.
Although 90 percent of R&M's materials suppliers are domestic, 79 percent of the company's sales go to export markets.
Stephen Rawson, partner in R&M International, said the company acts as a buyer of raw material, a trading broker and a recycler, working with outside toll recyclers.
He said the company exports to a broad range of countries, so when one country reduces demand — for example, China right now — the company can adapt.
"The President's "E" Award is a great recognition of a long history of working very hard in developing export markets for raw materials in textiles and plastics," Rawson said. "It speaks to the importance we place on logistics, efficiency and excellence."
In 2018, the government reports, U.S, exports were the highest on record with exports of goods reaching $1.7 trillion and services at $821.1 billion.
American companies are nominated for the export award through the U.S. and Foreign Commercial Service office network, part of the U.S. Department of Commerce's International Trade Administration.
Tony Ceballos, director of the U.S. Commercial Service in Philadelphia, said smaller companies play a major role in the nation's exports. "Exporting isn't just for big business — 98 percent of all U.S. exporters are small- and medium-sized firms."