While down from January's record level, Canada's overall exports are still up by 4.4 per cent compared to the same month a year ago.
HONG KONG, April 3 Factories across much of Asia posted another month of solid growth in March, rounding off a strong quarter for the world's manufacturers, even as exporters fear a rise in US protectionism could snuff out a global trade recovery.
Washington has the nation's second largest trade surplus with China, at between $4 and $5 billion, with the aerospace industry accounting for the bulk of its exports.
But as President Donald Trump prepares to meet his Beijing counterpart Xi Jinping at a Florida summit this week, U.S. views of the world's other great power are warming.
As measured by value, imports rose 0.6 percent, with volumes up 0.3 percent.
The U.S. Commerce Department says the deficit fell to $43.6 billion in February, or 9.6% lower than January's deficit of $48.2 billion.
Canada's trade surplus with the United States increased to $4.5 billion in February from $4.4 billion in January. However, the survey noted exporters were "wary" amid "elevated uncertainty about potential US policy changes".
"The U.S.is an economy that is at full employment and facing challenges of low productivity growth and slowing labor force growth, which implies that growing U.S. demand will increasingly spill over into the global economy and result in a wider trade deficit over time", said John Ryding, chief economist at RDQ Economics in NY. Excluding energy products, exports were down 2.4 percent.
Imports of goods and services fell 1.8 percent to $236.4 billion amid declines in imports of cell phones and motor vehicles.
"Looking through monthly and quarterly data volatility, our view remains that underlying economic activity continues to improve at a modestly above-potential pace as weakness in oil and gas sector investment eases and the rest of the economy continues to grow", Janzen wrote in a report.
However, exports to China fell 2.7 percent and Mexico saw a 7.1 percent drop in goods shipped from the United States.
The trade deficit with Germany was the smallest since January 2013.
The drop in exports will embolden the Bank of Canada to not put too much weight on a recent strong run of domestic data when it makes its interest rate decision next week, said Nick Exarhos, economist at CIBC Capital Markets.