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The Present

No, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Wakanda is not a real country

An online tool listed the home of the Black Panther as a trading partner of the United States.
Key Takeaways
  • A USDA web tool designed to list countries who have free trade with the United States listed Wakanda among them this week.
  • Wakanda is a fictional country from the Marvel superhero movies.
  • The error was quickly found and explained away.

In a gift to the sketch writers, the United States Department of Agriculture included Wakanda, the fictional country the superhero Black Panther is from, on a list of countries in free trade agreements with the U.S.

Wakanda Forever!

The imaginary nation was added to the list as a test line in the tariff tracker tool. A spokesman for the USDA stated, “The Wakanda information should have been removed after testing and has now been taken down,” and declined to comment further.

The site included a list of products Wakanda had available for trade, including cows, ducks, water chestnuts, yellow potatoes, coffee, and beans. Vibranium, the fictitious metal featured in the Marvel with fantastic properties, was not included. The high-tech elements of Wakanda’s economy, the comics and films explain the nation to have advanced technology made possible by vibranium, go unmentioned.

The employee who put Wakanda on the list in the first place is still unknown. It is probably safe to presume that they’ve heard about the mistake they made.

A fellow named Francis Tseng initially found the lingering inclusion as they looked up tariff rates in relationship to a fellowship they are applying for. The haphazard error has been fixed, and Wakanda is no longer listed on the USDA site.

That, or we’re in a trade war with them too.


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