Objectives: We studied the impact of globalization on the making of health policy. Globalization is understood as economic interdependence among nations. The North American Free Trade Agreement is used as a marker to assess the effects of economic interdependence on binational health cooperation along the United States-Mexico border.
Methods: We observed participants and conducted in-depth interviews with policymakers, public health specialists, representatives of professional organizations, and unions.
Results: Globalization has not promoted binational health policy cooperation. Barriers that keep US and Mexican policymakers apart prevail while health problems that do not recognize international borders go unresolved.
Conclusions: If international health problems are to be solved, political, cultural, and social interdependence need to be built with the same impetus by which policymakers promote international trade.