Dunkel Draft: The Cornerstone of Negotiations of GATT


To expedite the resumed negotiations in 1991, Sir Arthur Dunkel, Director General of GATT and the official Chairman of the TNC, tabled a scheme of proposals (commonly referred to as the Dunkel Draft or Dunkel Text) for the consideration of the participating countries.

The Dunkel Text, being a legal and technical document, covered seven areas for negotiations, namely: (i) Market Access; (ii) Agriculture; (iii) Textiles and Clothing; (iv) GATT Rules; (v) Trade Related Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPs); (vi) Trade in Services; and (vii) Institutional matters.

The Dunkel Draft (DD) though, aimed at narrowing the differences between the participating countries on the extent of liberalisation of global trade become the participating countries on the extent of liberalisation of global trade become a subject of highly controversial issue for its insistence as well as for its contents as well as insistence on a total package deal agreement without asking for any concessions. In the final stage of negotitations, however, the DD was altered and amended; yet there remained a deep imbalance in the exchange of concessions, especially in the areas of textiles, agriculture, and TRIPs.


. The Most Favoured Nation (MFN) clause, the key principle of the GATT, has been taken for granted in the Uruguay Round with a view to outlawing the practice of discrimination and retaliation among the participating countries and thus to promote liberalised world trade.

In theoretical understanding, efficiency, growth, equity and reciprocity are purported to be the cornerstones of concealed liberal trade ethic envisaged in the construction of NIEO. In reality, however, the mode of negotiations and results of the Uruguay Round had little about economics and more of politics at war in the decision-making process involved. It contained much of the asymmetry and inequity involved in the Treaty.

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