The crisis between China and the EU over textile trade quotas could be over by mid-September according to the bloc’s Trade Commissioner.
Peter Mandelson is presenting members with a proposal to try to release millions of euros worth of garments stuck in European ports.
Customs officials say the clothing can’t be allowed in as China has already exceeded its quotas for the year.
The curbs were established in June in response to a deluge of low-cost imports from China after global textile quotas were scrapped at the start of the year. Mandelson must now find a compromise between protecting local clothing industries and ensuring shops are not left with empty shelves by Christmas.
The bloc has so far been divided over the issue, with northern European nations calling for limits to be relaxed, while countries like France, Spain and Italy want to protect their textile industries.