The Free Trade Zones were areas of untaxed trading areas in the Mid and Outer Rims, often used by the Trade Federation in their business. Most likely the Association of Free Trade Worlds was from this zone.
The Free Trade Zones were created by the Galactic Senate in 67 BBY after what seemed to be an intense debate on the issue. The Trade Federation and several other major commerce corporations opposed this act as it would give startup companies in the Outer and Mid Rim, as well as small planetary business, greater control over trade in the outlying systems. Predominantly in the camp of those opposed to their creation was the lobbying financial company Damask Holdings while the Jedi Order campaigned strongly in favor of creation. Secretly however, Damask Holdings Magister, Hego Damask II, knew the trade zones would be created so he instead negotiated a compromise to strengthen the Federation and he advised the InterGalactic Banking Clan to invest in shipping operations in the Outer Rim. In exchange for Damask's support, the pro-creation lobby granted the Federation full representation in the Senate.
When the Galactic Republic began demanding taxes on the Trade Zones, the Federation, at Sidious's wishes, began the Invasion of Naboo. The Free Trade Petition, introduced as a "treaty", was used to lift the taxation.
- Darth Plagueis (Mentioned only)
- (Mentioned only)
- Monsters and Aliens from George Lucas (First mentioned) (Non-canonical appearance)
- Star Wars: Episode I Insider's Guide
- The Official Star Wars Fact File 13 (NAB7–8, The Naboo Blockade)
- The Essential Guide to Warfare