I don't think the U.S. is an imperial nation in the same way the Brits and a lot of other Europeans were. They certainly have never promulgated anything akin to the "white man's burden" mentality that marked much of the Brits' empire.
And if you're implying that U.S. businesses around the globe are the "empire," I think you might want to take a close look at who actually owns the companies working in the Third World to tap resources and cheap labor. I think you'd be amazed at how many are still British or any of half a dozen European countries or Japan.
I think a helluva lot of what the U.S. gets blamed for is actually the actions of other western countries, but because the U.S. is the most visible on so many planes, they take the blame.
So what should we do?
Quit building any manufacturing facilities outside the U.S.? That would take care of "exploiting workers" criticism. And leave a helluva lot of people with no means of support.
Or maybe not buy any raw materials from Third World countries to quiet the "resource grab" critics? Same outcome.
And maybe we should stop allowing U.S. businesses to open stores around the world so nobody else would have to put up with McDonald's and Nike and Ralph Lauren cloths.
We should probably also help all those countries who don't want our "cultural influence" to block the sale and broadcast of American television shows, American music and American movies. And just to make sure we don't step on any Third World toes, maybe we should make sure cell phones and all the communications trappings that go with them aren't sold there either. Of course, the Japanese and Germans and Dutch would have to buy into that as well....
When it comes to political empire building, I guess the U.S. is a bit on the proselytizing side. But when they go into a country and don't try to encourage democracy they're accused of shoring up the local dictator. If they do try to encourage it, they're meddling in other people's affairs.
And aid? Well, if we give money, it is often grabbed by whoever was on top of the power heap before we got there and none of it gets to the population. Same with food, which also — as happened in Zimbabwe a few years ago — the food sent in so so superior that the local farmers can't sell the scratty little stuff they grow and they're forced out of business, leaving the country completely without an ability to feed itself.
If we send people to try to help educate the locals so they can grow their own, they find such a lack of the kinds of things they know about (like fertilizer, machines and water) that it all becomes pointless or again undermines some traditional way of living — yet another thing to be damned for.
The long and short of it is, no matter what the U.S. does anywhere in the world, somebody's going to say it's wrong. Maybe the solution is a return to isolationism and let the world stew in its own juice — but millions would criticize that, too.