If the depressed prices of the mid-1980s, along with escalating budget costs and sporadic trade conflicts generated activity at the international level, these stimulants were not enough to bring reform to the trade system nor to force reform on the reluctant political systems of the EC and the US. The two agricultural "superpowers" were destined to face a protracted struggle in the Uruguay Round before agreement could finally be reached on new trading arrangements. Their own domestic farm policies would prove to be formidable obstacles to trade reform. This chapter details the first four years of the Uruguay Round, which were dominated by conflict over the appropriate way to reform the GATT rules, and more fundamentally the degree of discipline that should be exercised at the international level over domestic farm policies. The experience of these four years emphasized the relative impotence of international structures to influence policy in the US and the EC, though mid-size and smaller countries were modifying their policies with some alacrity, as discussed in the previous chapter. But before discussing the negotiating positions of the US and the EC in the Uruguay Round it is useful to describe in brief the way in which each organized itself for the conduct of the negotiations.