Knesek Guns Inc. of Van Buren has been presented the President’s "E" Award for Exports.

U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker made the presentation Wednesday at a ceremony in Washington, D.C. The "E" Awards are the highest recognition any United States entity may receive for making a significant contribution to the expansion of U.S. exports.

Only 66 companies were presented with the President’s "E" Award this year.

Knesek Guns is a wholesaler and retailer of military and law enforcement type weapons, specializing in military and law enforcement type weapons, optics, ammunition, and firearm accessories.

"Our continued focus on international sales has provided a great opportunity for us to support United States manufacturers of firearms and various defense articles," said Max Rodriguez, senior vice president of KGI. "When we first began exporting, we only offered a few lines and our client base was quite limited, but in recent years we have grown to offer a full catalog of products and are exporting to a lot of new markets around the world"

Pritzkeer said Knesek Guns has demonstrated a sustained commitment to export expansion.

"The ‘E’ Awards Committee was very impressed with Knesek Guns’ sales into 76 international markets," Pritzker said. "The company’s creative marketing of products previously found only in the United States was also particularly impressive. Knesek Guns’ achievements have undoubtedly contributed to national export and expansion efforts that support the U.S. economy and create American jobs."

U.S. exports of goods and services hit an all-time record of $2.3 trillion in 2013. Nationally, jobs supported by exports reached more than 11 million last year, up 1.6 million since 2009. Launched earlier this month, NEI/Next, a new phase of President Obama’s National Export Initiative, works to boost economic growth and support additional American jobs by assisting more U.S. companies of all sizes in exporting to more markets 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 Dec. 5, 1961. 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.

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.