The Trade Federation are a greedy organisation that got corrupted by Darth Sidious and were easily persuade to create a blockade of the planetNaboo. Darth Sidious was later to be revealed to be Senator Palpatine, a Naboon Senator. The organisation is led by Nute Gunray. After Padme Amidala with the help of Jedi Knights Qui-Gon Jinn and Obi-Wan Kenobi was able to break the blockade, the Trade Federation joined the Separatists movement to break free from the Old Republic.
Nute Gunray is the Leader of the Trade Federation seen prominently in star Wars I - The Phantom Menace. He is a weak and greedy figure who gets corrupted by a shadowy Sith lord known as Darth Sidious.
Nute is persuaded to increase the trade taxes from Naboo, Padme Amidala refuses to pay for the taxes and so Nute blockades the planet. Nute is part of Palpatine's plan to gain control of the Galactic Senate and then take full control of the galaxy.
After Padme Amidala is forced to flee Naboo to try to persuade the Galactic Council, Padme returns to Naboo to force Nute Gunray to stop his blockade of the planet.
The Trade Federation joins Count Dooku on Geonosis as Palpatines plans to create a schism in the galaxy begins to be fulfiled. Although defeated on Geonsis, it is not until Anakin Skywalker has fully transitioned to Darth Vader that Nute is killed on Mustafar.