President Donald Trump may be preparing to slap tariffs on Wakanda, the fictional homeland of the Marvel superhero Black Panther.
That’s one explanation for the US Department of Agriculture’s removal of the high-tech African nation from a list of free-trade partners that includes Panama and Peru in addition to other actual countries. In reality, officials uploaded Wakanda and its supposed exports to test a tariff-tracking tool and neglected to remove it.
“There were hundreds of data inputs for Wakanda… Different commodity groups offered on drop-down menus range from fresh vegetables and unroasted coffee beans to essential oils and livestock,” NBC News reported before the Wakanda data was scrubbed from the site Wednesday. “Yellow potatoes had to maintain a ‘0.5 cent/kg’ base rate when shipped in from the fictional East African nation, while frozen Chinese water chestnuts were tariff-free if the U.S. decided to import them from Wakanda. Cows were also tariff-free.”
The Trump administration, which has never been known for its attention to detail, chalked it up to a lack of attention to detail.
Since President Trump took office in 2017, Washington has aggressively confronted trade partners around the world, raising tariffs and rattling the prevailing global trade order.