The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) has listed the fictional country of ‘Wakanda’ as its free-trading partner. A USDA spokesperson said the Kingdom of Wakanda was added to the list by accident during a staff test. The Kingdom of Wakanda is the home of Black Panther, the Marvel superhero, and is portrayed in comic books and the 2018 blockbuster movie as an isolated African nation with the most powerful technology on the planet. Wakanda featured prominently in the movie Avengers: Infinity War.
Reportedly, the tariff tracking site, run by the US Department of Agriculture’s Foreign Agricultural Service, features a drop-down list of dozens of real countries and their trade agreement policies on everything from fish to fruit.
Wakanda is listed as a US free trade partner on the USDA website?? pic.twitter.com/xcq1OFTIPh
— Francis Tseng (@frnsys) December 18, 2019
The US department’s online tariff tracker also hosted a detailed list of goods the two nations apparently traded, including ducks, donkeys and dairy cows. The fictional country was removed soon from the list after US media first reported on the gaffe.
“Over the past few weeks, the Foreign Agricultural Service staff who maintain the Tariff Tracker have been using test files to ensure that the system is running properly,” said Mike Illenberg, a USDA spokesman.
The USDA officials have now clarified that they have removed Wakanda from the website, and noted that information displayed is not official and should only be used as a general reference.
“The Wakanda information should have been removed after testing and has now been taken down,” the official added.