A new EU trade dispute over Chinese imports - this time about shoes - could be on the cards next year.

The Daily Telegraph has reported that a group of representatives from UK companies including Next, Clarks and New Look met with the European Commission on Wednesday to encourage them not to deploy protectionist measures on Chinese and Vietnamese shoe imports.

Retailers fear shoe prices could shoot up if the EC places additional duties on imports from China and Vietnam.

But European shoe makers - particularly from Italy - maintain that surging cheap competition from low-cost countries such as China and Vietnam could badly damage their industries.

EU trade officials are investigating accusations that China is engaging in the 'dumping' (sale of goods for less than their production price) of footwear in Europe.