|Chronological and political information|
The Trade Federation was a powerful galactic shipping cartel during the latter years of the Galactic Republic. It wielded extensive military and political power through its droid army and representation in the Galactic Senate. The cartel, made up of various different business interests, was once made up of a variety of sentient species through representation on the Trade Federation Directorate, but Federation Viceroy Nute Gunray had the non-Neimoidian members of the Directorate killed in 23 BBY with the help of the Sith Lord Darth Maul. This gave Cato Neimoidia a monopoly over the entire Federation.
That same year, the Senate passed the Republic Anti-Slavery Law that forbid Republic companies from using slave workers outside of Republic jurisdiction. The Federation, which relied on slave labor in the Outer Rim Territories, retaliated against the measure by blockading and ultimately invading Utapau, one of the principal sponsors of the legislation, in an effort to force the Republic into repealing the law.
- Star Wars: Episode I - The Chosen One (First appearance)