'Black Panther' country Wakanda briefly listed as U.S. trade partner

Wakanda forever! Or at least Wakanda for a few hours.

The United States Department of Agriculture briefly listed Black Panther‘s fictional kingdom as a real-life trading partner on Wednesday, in what officials say was a tongue-in-cheek test that wasn’t meant to go public.

“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 spokesperson Mike Illenberg told NBC News.

“The Wakanda information should have been removed after testing and has not been taken down.”

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The futuristic nation of Wakanda became a pop-culture phenomenon in early 2018, when Marvel Studios brought it to life for its blockbuster film Black Panther. Wakanda is depicted as a hidden utopia built around a massive node of vibranium, the indestructible fictional metal used in Captain America‘s shield and Black Panther’s claws.

Outside forces are always eager to get their hands on Wakanda’s vibranium, so it would make sense that the U.S. might want some for itself.

It’s unclear exactly how long Wakanda was listed on the USDA site, but Twitter user Francis Tseng noticed it and tweeted a screenshot on Wednesday.

Tseng was browsing the site as part of his role as a fellow at the non-profit Jain Family Institute.

Wakanda would be lucky to get free-trade status out of the United States, as President Donald Trump is known to slap tariffs on metal imports from allied countries, including Canada.

“Looking forward to being able to access some of the finest vibranium goods!” one person tweeted.

“Until Trump imposes sanctions,” added another.

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Wakanda had several products listed under its trade commodities, NBC reports.

The USDA posted a tongue-in-cheek tweet applauding its fictional ally on Thursday morning.

“While we removed the Kingdom of Wakanda from our list of U.S. free trade partners, our relationship will always be strong,” the USDA wrote.

“Wakanda forever.”

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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