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The US trade deficit narrowed sharply in March as imports fell and the gap with China diminished, the Commerce Department reported Wednesday. Imports fell 3.6 percent to $217.1 billion while exports fell a much smaller 0.9 percent, to $176.6 billion. "The US trade deficit contracted significantly in March, but the details show little cause for optimism," said Emily Mandel of Moody's Analytics.
US Defence Secretary Ashton Carter expressed confidence Wednesday that countries engaged in the fight against Islamic State jihadists in Syria and Iraq will pour more military resources into the battle. After a meeting of defence ministers of countries involved in the anti-IS coalition, Carter said there was "common recognition that we must all be prepared to do more". Defence ministers meeting at the US European Command's headquarters in Stuttgart also examined their economic and political contributions to the campaign, he said.