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Quality in products and services will be a major factor for U.S. businesses in the 1990s, according to Jerry Jasinowski, president of the National Association of Manufacturers.

Many positive things have been happening in the United States on quality and many manufacturers have increased their quality to international levels. At the same time quality is increasing, so is productivity, Jasinowski said.Jasinowski, who was in Utah last week to participate in a Utah State University seminar on quality and productivity, also spoke during a luncheon in the Red Lion Hotel for the Partners in Business program.

In several industries, Jasinowski said, unions are participating in the quality upgrade program, but in others they are dragging their feet. In many instances, the lack of quality has been management's fault, but many managers now are leading the quality parade by being role models.

He encouraged his audience to push quality products and services and said Americans should have a better perception of the things they produce and sell. "Too often we sell ourselves short," he said.

Pointing to a recent survey, Jasinowski said business will be faced with increased global competition in the 1990s and the best market for American products and services will be western Europe because it will be that area that must help eastern European countries in their push for democracy and economic reforms.

He said the U.S.-Canadian Trade Agreement has been signed and negotiations are going on for a trade agreement with Mexico, a further indication of the global nature of doing business today.

Recalling the recent Earth Day events, Jasinowski said environmental policies of business will become more important in the 1990s with the issues varying from location to location. He said business has made some great strides in dealing with the environment, but serious problems remain, such as toxic wastes and auto emissions.

Touching on the American economic situation, Jasinowski said NAM is concerned that interest rates will increase in the next few years. He is also concerned that West German interest rates will increase, and coupled with recent events in the Japanese stock market, the situation could get worse unless the Federal Reserve Board takes steps to keep interest rates down.