The U.S. deficit with Korea - a much-watched figure in light of recent administration criticism of the U.S. -Korea Free Trade Agreement - increased by $600 million, the agencies said in a report.
The Commerce Department said the trade deficit narrowed to USD43.7 billion in March from a revised USD43.8 billion in February.
Consumer goods exports also rose 6.8 percent, with increased shipments of yellow peas and red lentils to India, and gold to China.
Even with the cooling of exports and imports during the month, the outlook for global trade looks relatively stable.
Meanwhile, the Commerce Department said the value of exports fell by 0.9 percent to $191.0 billion in March from $192.7 billion in February.
Imports of capital goods and crude oil and other petroleum products showed notable decreases, while imports of passenger cars saw a significant increase. Imports were also down, falling 0.7 percent to $234.7 billion.
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As a result Canada's trade surplus with the United States narrowed from 4.5 billion dollar in February to 4.0 billion dollar in March.
The overall decrease reflected a $1.7 billion decrease in exports along with a $1.7 billion decrease in imports.
Trade figures also carry political implications as President Donald Trump seeks to revamp US trade deals with other countries. Energy products rose seven per cent, pushed up by higher natural gas flows to the United States and a spike in exports of coal to Asia that coincided with a slowdown in Australian production caused by a cyclone.
But a four-year record for Japanese imports, valued at US$13.3 billion, saw the U.S. deficit with that country hit its highest level since April 2008 at US$7.6 billion.
Imports from Mexico hit $28.1 billion, their highest on record, pushing the deficit with the southern neighbor to its highest level in almost 10 years.