The US Ambassador has been urged to intervene in the trade war which has led to a punitive 25% tariff being imposed on whisky and other traditional Scottish products.
Highlands Tory MSP Donald Cameron has written to Woody Johnson to express his concern at the serious impact which the trade barrier put up by Donald Trump’s administration will have on whisky jobs.
Distillers have warned the tariff could cost jobs in the industry, which employs 11,000 people in Scotland – most of whom are based in rural areas.
Until now, whisky exports to America have been worth around £1billion a year to the industry. But the tariffs, which were introduced earlier this month, threaten Scotch exports in addition to other products such as cashmere and shortbread which are manufactured in the north of Scotland.
Mr Cameron said: “The bonds of family and friendship between the United States and the Highlands and Islands go back many generations.
“That enduring link is very well symbolised by the enduring popularity of Scotch whisky with many millions of discerning American consumers.
“It is therefore hugely disappointing that a trade dispute with the EU over airliners is threatening to put this fantastic product out of the reach of some of those consumers.
“I very much hope that the ambassador is able to make representations, so that the tariffs can be withdrawn and our friends across the water can continue to enjoy a dram at a reasonable price.”
In his letter to Mr Johnson, the MSP said he was worried about the impact the tariffs would have on the smaller distilleries in the area he represents.
He added: “While I fully appreciate and respect the decisions taken by other Governments, I am also deeply concerned about the long-term impact this will have for my region, and many of the smaller distilleries within it in particular.
“The United States is an extremely important market to Scotland, and not just for whisky, but a litany of other products and services.
“I would be very appreciative if you could make the appropriate representations with the relevant bodies within the United States Government.”
The US was given the right to impose tariffs on £6.1billion of goods it imports from the EU following a World Trade Organisation ruling.
The decision found the EU had failed to remove subsidies for European aircraft maker Airbus, causing a loss in sales for US rival plane manufacturer Boeing.