As the flow of products into the U.S. surged, the trade deficit rose to $39.7 billion the Commerce Department reported on April 13.
Imports of goods and services to the United States totaled $182.9 billion, while exports were worth $143.2 billion.
The deficit rose from a revised figure of $37 billion in January.
The deficit for goods increase 3.9% along with a substantial increase in petroleum imports.
The trade deficit with Japan widened 28.3% to $4.3 billion, while that with China 9.8% to $16.5 billion.
But the decrease in China's deficit appears unlikely to dampen criticism that Washington is not doing enough to press China to revalue its currency, which commentators say provides a boon for Chinese exports.
"Subsidized manufactures from China and petroleum account for nearly the entire deficit, and both will rise as consumer spending and oil prices rise through 2010," said Morici at the University of Maryland School.
Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2010