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IAPMO Honored with President’s ‘E Star’ Award for Continued Excellence in Increasing U.S. Exports

WASHINGTON, D.C., UNITED STATES, May 14, 2024 / — The International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials (IAPMO) was honored Tuesday with the President’s “E Star” Award for Export Service at a ceremony hosted by U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina M. Raimondo in Washington, D.C., marking the second time the association has been recognized for its high-yielding efforts to increase U.S. exports. IAPMO received the President’s “E” Award in 2019.

Created via executive order by President Kennedy in 1961, the President’s “E” Award recognizes persons, firms, or organizations that contribute significantly in the effort to increase United States exports. The “E Star” was authorized in 1969 to recognize “E” Award winners’ continued excellence in export expansion. IAPMO Vice President of Government Relations Christopher Lindsay attended the ceremony and accepted the award on the organization’s behalf.

“The ‘E’ Awards Committee recognizes IAPMO’s critical work to promote international plumbing standards that will support export opportunities for U.S. companies,” Secretary Raimondo wrote in her letter announcing the award. “The organization’s collaborative work in the creation of the Indonesian Plumbing Manufacturing Coalition (APIN) to help expand the availability of quality plumbing products to Indonesia was also notable. IAPMO’s achievements have undoubtedly contributed to national export expansion efforts that support the U.S. economy and create American jobs.”

Since receiving the “E” Award in 2019, IAPMO has pressed forward in the ASEAN region, launching its Increase the Flow of Plumbing Exports to Asia initiative (Increase the Flow) in 2021 utilizing grants awarded by the U.S. Department of Commerce’s MDCP program and USAID/ANSI’s Standards Alliance Global Development Alliance program. Increase the Flow tackles specific hurdles outlined by Commerce’s International Trade Administration (ITA) by cementing the role of U.S.-developed international standards and helping formalize plumbing product markets in Asia.

“We are thrilled to be recognized again by the U.S. Department of Commerce for our work in helping countries build quality, durable infrastructure,” said IAPMO CEO Dave Viola. “International product standards combined with third-party testing and certification of products will continue to play a foundational role in helping every country in the region reach its drinking water and sanitation goals.”

The plumbing sector in the United States is a $112 billion industry that employs more than 500,000 people through more than 120,000 businesses. U.S. plumbing manufacturers export to 198 markets to help satisfy the growing global demand. The plumbing fixture and fittings industry contributes $85.5 billion to the American economy — about four-tenths of 1% of America’s gross domestic product. These manufacturers, along with their wholesale and retail partners, generate more than $34 billion in direct annual output, providing more than 193,000 jobs and in excess of $10 billion in wages. Furthermore, the industry supports more than 271,300 jobs through its supplier and induced impacts, with a payroll exceeding $15.5 billion. Increasing U.S. plumbing exports and global market share is critical to the future growth of this sector.

“Receiving this President’s ‘E-Star’ Award is truly a recognition of IAPMO’s continuing commitment to removing trade barriers for the plumbing industry in Indonesia and across the region,” said Shirley Dewi, senior vice president of PT. IAPMO Group Indonesia. “We are grateful for this recognition and very committed to our work across Asia in promoting a level playing field for the plumbing industry and in building a robust supply chain of quality products.”

IAPMO has also recently expanded its export initiatives to Mexico’s aerospace and electronics sectors, signing a 2023 memorandum of understanding with the Baja Aerospace Cluster to promote business-to-business interactions that will open the door for expanded trade between the United States and Mexico.

Founded in 1926, IAPMO focuses its comprehensive services on the technical aspects of the plumbing and mechanical industries. Its membership includes trained labor and contractors, engineers, domestic and non-domestic product manufacturers, suppliers, plumbing and mechanical inspectors, and building officials. IAPMO has assisted with code and standard development, educational programs, and/or conformity assessment services in regions around the world. IAPMO has also assisted international aid organizations to help bring sound, efficient water/sanitation systems to developing nations.

For more information on the award or IAPMO’s work in Asia, contact IAPMO Executive Vice President of Government Relations Dain Hansen at (202) 445-7514 or

Sponsor of the Uniform Codes, IAPMO® — The International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials — works in concert with government and industry for safe, sanitary plumbing and mechanical systems. Learn more about IAPMO at

Geoff Bilau