Latin American Free Trade Association


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Latin American Free Trade Association:

see Latin American Integration AssociationLatin American Integration Association
(LAIA), organization formed in 1980 by Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Mexico, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay, and Venezuela, taking over the duties of the Latin American Free Trade Association (LAFTA), which had been created
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Latin American Free Trade Association

 

(LAFTA), an economic grouping for trade founded by Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Mexico, Paraguay, Peru, and Uruguay. The agreement creating LAFTA was signed on Feb. 18, 1960, in Montevideo and came into force on June 2, 1961. In 1961, Colombia and Ecuador joined the association. Venezuela joined in 1966, and Bolivia in 1967. The highest body of the association is the annual assembly. Executive power is exercised by the standing executive committee.

LAFTA’s goals are to accelerate the rate of economic growth of its members and to resist economic pressure from the developed capitalist countries (above all, the USA and the Common Market countries). The agreement on the creation of LAFTA, as well as a number of subsequent agreements, provides for a gradual lifting of trade restrictions among members, a coordinated economic policy for the development of key branches of the national economy, and coordination and cooperation in the production of some goods. As a result of the implementation of liberalization measures, the trade turnover among LAFTA’s members rose from $659 million in 1961 to $2,589,000,000 in 1970. However, largely because of the economic backwardness of the majority of its members, the insufficient development of interbranch connections, the narrowness of domestic markets, and the existence of feudal vestiges in agriculture, LAFTA is encountering difficulties in its activities. US monopolies continue to dominate key branches of the economies of the majority of the association’s members, drawing enormous profits from their exploitative practices.

V. I. NEZNANOV

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