The Commerce Department said Thursday that the gap between what the U.S. buys and what it sells abroad dropped 12.2% to $39.9 billion in February, the lowest since September 2016. Exports fell 0.4% to $207.5 billion. Imports skidded 2.5% to $247.5 billion.
The goods gap with China fell 17% to $19.7 billion on a 13% drop in imports. In February, the United States ran a $61.2 billion deficit in the trade of goods such as aircraft and appliances. But it ran a $21.3 billion surplus in services such as education and tourism.
President Donald Trump campaigned on a pledge to reduce America's massive trade imbalances, especially with China. He has imposed tariffs on $360 billion worth of Chinese imports. Last year, the U.S. trade deficit dropped for the first time in six years.
COVID-19 is also devastating global trade as economies around the world isolate themselves to fight the outbreak.