The fictional country of Wakanda was included as a free trade agreement partner of the U.S. on a tariff tracker maintained by the Department of Agriculture, NBC News is reporting.
The country was "created" by Marvel in 1966 and gained popularity in the 2018 Marvel superhero movie, “Black Panther.”
USDA spokesman Mike Illenberg said the department had used Wakanda to test the system behind the tracker and had failed to remove it after testing was completed.
"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," Mike Illenberg, a USDA spokesman. "The Wakanda information should have been removed after testing and has now been taken down."
The network news reported there had been hundreds of data inputs for Wakanda. Fresh vegetables and unroasted coffee beans were included in the commodity groups offered on drop-down menus.
Francis Tseng, a fellow at the Jain Family Institute, noticed Wakanda listed as a trade partner on the tariff tracker on Wednesday morning.
“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.”
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