The 1st global export: Time – British "Greenwich Mean Time" GMT

"Britain “ruled the waves” in the days of empire and through the oceans had power over vast parts of the world. How? Through clocks. In 1714, a petition was offered to parliament, proposing a prize for the solution of the longitude problem. “The discovery of longitude is of such consequence to Great Britain for the improvement of Trade . . . the lasting honor of the British nation is at stake.” Through mastering, with chronometers, the mystery of longitude, thus rendering seas navigable, the British paved the pathless oceans and paved them in the pursuit of power, prestige and profit. The chronometer became a tool of political power, a weapon of empire and the handcuffs of slavery.

The most accurate clocks were kept at the Greenwich Royal Observatory, the center of this maritime nation and the center of empire. Reeking with the language of imperialism and smug with the knowledge that time is power, the chief clock at Greenwich in 1852 was called the “master” clock; it sent out signals to “slave” clocks in Greenwich which sent further signals to other “slave” clocks at London Bridge. Today, at Greenwich, there is a plaque (in a dismally unprominent position on a run-down housing estate) which quietly commemorates the slave trade in African people which “was to enrich England for centuries and correspondingly destabilise and impoverish Africa” ...  

... Suitably for a nation of shopkeepers, who had long linked commerce and clocks, the first global export was time itself, GMT ... As this became the universal time measurement, it signaled the destruction of other ways of counting times and marked the hegemony of the one, Western— specifically British— way, dictated by British imperial power, as seventy-five percent of merchant ships already followed GMT."

–"A Sideways Look at Time" by Jay Griffiths