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"Supreme Chancellor, delegates of the Senate, a tragedy has occurred, which started right here with the taxation of trade routes, and has now engulfed our entire planet in the oppression of the Trade Federation!"
Senator Sheev Palpatine[src]

In the last decades of the Galactic Republic, the Free Trade Zones were untaxed trading areas within the territories controlled by the galaxy-spanning government. The Trade Federation often used them in their business.

Around 32 BBY, the Galactic Senate passed Prop 31-814D, making the Free Trade zones eligible for taxation.[1] The Trade Federation retaliated by invading the remote planet of Naboo with its private droid force, secretly backed up and manipulated by a malevolent Dark Lord of the Sith named Darth Sidious.[2]

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