The U.S. Commerce Department released the trade data on Tuesday. The U.S. trade deficit widened to $51.37 billion in March from a deficit of $35.9 billion in February. It was the largest deficit since October 2008.
February's figure was revised down from a deficit of $35.44 billion.
Analysts had expected a trade deficit of $40.3 billion.
The rise of a deficit was driven by higher imports. Imports soared by 7.7% in March, while exports increased by 0.9%.
Imports of consumer goods, capital goods, and automotive vehicles, parts, and engines increased in March.
Exports to Canada and Mexico were up in March, exports to China rose 13.6%, while exports to the European Union climbed 8.6%.
Imports from China jumped 31.6%.