Latin American Integration Association
Latin 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 in 1960 to establish a common market for its member nations through progressive tariff reductions until the elimination of tariff barriers by 1973. In 1969 the deadline was extended until 1980, at which time the plan was scrapped and the new organization, LAIA, created by the Treaty of Montevideo. It has the more limited goal of encouraging free trade, with no deadline for the institution of a common market. Economic hardship in Argentina, Brazil, and many other member nations has made LAIA's task difficult. The association's headquarters are in Montevideo, Uruguay.