In March, the trade deficit rose in March as surging oil and commodity prices drove up the country's import bill.
But the trade gap with China narrowed on a pickup in U.S. exports to the Asian economic superpower, Commerce Department data showed.
The country's trade deficit rose to $48.2 billion in March, up from $45.4 billion in February.
More than half of a $10.4 billion surge in imports came from oil and oil products, as crude prices shot up on the back of turbulence in oil-producing Arab countries.
A $7.7 billion rise in exports included a $1.6 billion increase in the U.S. sales abroad of cars, trucks and other automotive industry products.
Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2011