The globalization of values is most explicitly expressed as a policy matter through political efforts to impose economic sanctions. Since 1993, the United States has enacted laws that establish the basis for imposing new unilateral economic sanctions on 60 different occasions against 35 countries, that represent more than 40 percent of the world’s population.
However, no sanctions have been imposed in many of these cases.
These laws were often enacted as expressions of U.S. revulsion against nations for their internal practices, such as human rights abuses or poor labor or environmental standards.
The United States has also imposed sanctions upon countries for failing to hold democratic elections, such as those applied against South Africa in the 1980s. Sanctions have been imposed for nuclear proliferation and for trading with a country against which we have an embargo, such as Iraq or Cuba.
Other nations targeted by sanctions measure have included Burma, which has one of the worst human rights records on earth, but also against traditional allies such as Mexico, for not sufficiently protecting dolphins from tuna fishing.
The nations at which these sanctions are directed frequently accuse the United States of wielding its power with arrogance or self-righteousness, and of meddling unnecessarily in their internal affairs when they are imposed.