Up until a few days ago, “Wakanda” was listed as a free trade partner of the United States. For the US, a free trade partner means no heavy tariffs involved. It’s worth noting that not many countries make it into this list, which is also why Wakanda’s listing is as strange and comical as it sounds.
The “Breaking News”
The discovery was made by one Francis Tseng, a researcher at the Jain Family Institute. While doing some research about local food production, fertilizer, and open markets, Francis found that Wakanda was listed among the various Free Trade Agreement (FTA) partners in the Tariff Tracker section on the website controlled by the US Department of Agriculture (USDA). Francis Tseng tweeted about his strange findings.
First off, the Kingdom of Wakanda doesn’t exist.
Wakanda is a fictional Kingdom situated deep in the valleys and forests somewhere within the Eastern Africa (Sub-Saharan Africa). According to Marvel, the franchise that created the Black Panther movie, Wakanda is a highly advanced African civilization, and it has used its superior cloaking technology to hide its existence from the rest of the world.
What Are They Trading?
Before it was delisted from the countries menu in the Agricultural Tariff Tracker, Wakanda’s trade with the US included Chinese water chestnuts, cows, yellow potatoes, and coffee beans – as indicated on the website. The list is pretty long.
This may be disappointing to many Black Panther fans as Vibranium, the fictional main metal used in various technologies in Wakanda, didn’t feature among the traded items. Well, that’s probably because of Wakanda’s internal policy of restricting Vibranium exports – at least according to the Black Panther movie.
Sadly, Wakanda no longer shows up in the list of countries with an FTA with the US. That’s after the USDA moved to delist it, citing a listing mishap during a testing phase of a dataset on the website. Well, it feels like the US and Wakanda are now embroiled in some kind of a trade war - like with China or North Korea.
The USDA had a comeback for that. It shot back with a rather comical tweet.
How Would It Work?
Speculating about the possible trading relationship between the US and Wakanda (if ever it were real) Francis Tseng opined that it would likely be an opportunistic one on the part of the US, and that the US would try to liberalize the market and export cheap products to Wakanda.
However, knowing the Wakanda society and its strong stance as a free nation that adheres to strict rules in regard to foreign engagement, it’s pretty unlikely that they would let that happen.