|Trade & Development Division|
|Parent Org||Customs Bureau|
|Focus||Collect and collate commodity market information|
The Trade & Development Division (abbreviated TDD) is a Customs Bureau division that regulates the commodity market, trade and cargo; and is one of the largest government employers outside of the military. It is responsible for inspections of imports and exports into cities and landing zones for ships. All wares coming onto or leaving a planet pass through a TDD inspection. TDD buildings, located across UEE space, are marketplaces for the various commodities, and as such give a good sense of what is in demand.
Today, there are TDD offices in almost all ports and hubs throughout the Empire . Every second, tens of thousands of commodities traders are selling and buying mind-bogglingly huge sums of raw resources. Though it is still a part of the Customs Bureau, the TDD overshadows the rest of its parent organization in size and funding, and has become a symbol of the Empire's wealth and power. For almost five centuries, TDD has been choreographing a complicated financial ballet that manages staggeringly complex price calculations, factoring reports and estimates from all over the UEE.
The Trade and Development Division was founded during the time of the United Nations of Earth in 2463. It arose as a response to futures market and commodity manipulation that almost resulted in a market crash in 2461, when the price of millet was driven to a record high owing to falsified information that was delivered to the Angeli Mercantile Exchange. The Customs Bureau created the Trade & Development Division to collect and collate commodity market information for distribution to all the major exchanges. Utilizing the information already being stored by the Bureau as a starting point, the TDD included production constraints, environmental factors, current market demand, and more in their analytics. At first these official numbers were enough to stabilize the market, but soon the office began to field requests to authenticate deals to verify that they matched current data. In just a decade, it came to be that many traders would not do a deal unless it was TDD bonded. From there, it was only a short step for them to act in receivership on future contracts, regulating storage and delivery. By the turn of the 26th century, almost the entirety of commodity brokering was done through the TDD.
While not perfect — with outlaw tampering at the Reis TDD in 2945 that used false high prices to lure in targets, or the recent double-down glitch in Bremen that saw millions of chickens sold twice as recent examples — overall the TDD has an impressive track record. While some traders prefer to use the smaller, more variable independent markets, it is the consistency of the TDD that has made it trusted for so long. As the organization nears its quincentenary, it continues to strive to improve price indexing and minimize information lag with ever-more advanced comm drone networks. And with the recent passing of the Human-Xi'an Trade Initiative, the TDD is bracing itself to embark on a new chapter as it works closely with its Xi'an neighbors on the formation of an inter-species commission. In other words, where commodity trading is concerned, the future of the TDD is looking stronger than ever.
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