European Union Trade Commissioner Peter Mandelson has called on EU governments to release blocked Chinese textile shipments, saying a failure to do so could cause economic hardship in Europe.

The announcement followed talks with Beijing aimed at revising a June textile quota agreement limiting shipments to Europe. Those quotas filled so quickly that millions of items of Chinese-made clothing were left stranded at customs checkpoints.

Mr. Mandelson Tuesday said the economic consequences of not allowing the goods to enter Europe will be severe for small retailers. He said delaying the shipments could also cause higher prices and shortages in the next few months.

EU textile producers say the imports are harming their business, but retailers say they have already paid for the Chinese clothing and want the items released.

Some information for this report provided by AFP and AP.