Gunray joined the Trade Federation as a junior trade officer, and soon enough, saw an opportunity for promotion. The Pulsar Supertanker corporation was being reviewed by the Federation for expulsion, and the verdict happened to depend on the testimonial of Gunray. Gunray supported the expulsion, citing "malicious disregard of profit" and "charitable donations lacking discernible reward". The resulting expulsion of Pulsar voided its CEO's position in the Trade Federation Directorate, and was in need of replacement. Gunray quickly filled the role.
By 44 BBY, Gunray served as the Trade Federation's senator in the Galactic Senate. He implored the Senate to intervene when the Stark Commercial Combine began attacking Federation transports carrying precious bacta. Gunray demanded the Federation be allowed to increase its Droid Army, though he secretly met with Senator Ranulph Tarkin to bring a more decisive end to the Combine. Gunray was pressured into giving Tarkin the name of the planet on which a conference was to be held between Iaco Stark and Republic representatives.