Under RCEP, parts of all Member States would be treated equally, which could provide an incentive for companies in RCEP countries to seek suppliers within the trading region. The deal excludes the United States, which withdrew in 2017 from a rival Asia-Pacific trade pact. “It is essential that partners like China, when they make new deals like this, not only respect the details of such deals, but also act faithfully in their minds,” Birmingham told The Age newspaper. The RCEP agreement is flexible enough to meet the different needs of member states as different as Australia, Myanmar, Singapore and Vietnam. Chinese Premier Li Keqiang called the deal a “victory for multilateralism and free trade,” according to a report published Sunday by the state-owned Xinhua news agency. Many Member States already have free trade agreements between them, but there are restrictions. Traditionally, ASEAN national authorities have also been reluctant to share or cede sovereignty to the authorities of other ASEAN members (although ASEAN trade ministries regularly conduct cross-border visits to carry out on-site inspections in anti-dumping investigations). . . .