Wakanda Was On The USDA Website As A Free Trade Agreement Partner

Ahead of release Kevin Feige explains the decision not to recast T'Challa in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.

If you need further proof that geeks have truly gone mainstream (in case the nearly $3 billion at the box office isn’t enough), then you need look no further than the United States Department of Agriculture website. Or at least, you could have looked if you were quick enough to catch it before the error was corrected. What error am I talking about?

According to NBC News, until Wednesday afternoon, one country of Wakanda was listed as a free trade agreement partner. In case you don’t know, Wakanda is a fictional country set within the Marvel Universe, where T’Challa (aka Black Panther) reigns as king.

But what is the reason behind this massively embarrassing error? It sounds pretty harmless.

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“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,” USDA spokesman Mike Illenberg told the outlet over email. “The Wakanda information should have been removed after testing and has now been taken down.”

This error was reportedly discovered by Fancis Tseng at the Jain Family Institute while researching trade deal tariffs, and she came across the site on the tariff tracker site.

“I definitely did a double take,” he said. “I Googled Wakanda to make sure it was actually fiction, and I wasn’t misremembering. I mean, I couldn’t believe it.”

According to Internet Archive, Wakanda could have been listed for as long as six months, as it looks as though it first appeared after June 10. Of course, it’s just a reference and nothing incredibly important, but it’s still very entertaining.

As to whether or not it’s a joke, an accident of someone leaving it in, or a more embarrassing accident where someone actually thought it was a country, I’ll leave to you.

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