Former Scottish Secretary David Mundell has urged Prime Minister Boris Johnson to 'intervene directly' to save whisky from US sanctions.

There are growing fears that as many as 3000 jobs could be lost after President  Donald Trump threatened punitive 25% import taxes on Scotch.

America is the biggest export market for Scottish whisky, by value rather than volume, and industry leaders believe the tariff hike could cost them more than £200m.

READ MORE: Donald Trump could bring in 25% tariff on Scotch

Speaking in the House of Commons, Mr Mundell said: "It was my duty to welcome President Trump to Scotland last year and during the course of that event, he told me that 'he loved Scotland'.

"Now I'm sure if the prime minister was able to convey directly to President Trump the damage that these proposals will do to Scotland, particularly rural Scotland, that could have an impact."

The World Trade Organisation gave the green light for the whisky tariffs amid a row on subsidies for the aircraft manufacturing in the European Union. The changes could be introduced as soon as October 18.

Trade Minister Conor Burns said the UK Government was disappointed in the new tariffs and had already lobbied US officials to reverse the move. Mr Burns then suggested that tariffs on Bourbon whiskey could be dropped after Brexit in return for a reciprocal reduction in America.

Mr Burns insisted there "would be no winners" if tariffs went ahead and outlined how the UK Government has been in contact with senior figures in Washington, including US Vice President Mike Pence.

Mr Burns urged MPs to contact US ambassador to the UK Woody Johnson, telling the Commons: "He's known to be very close to President Trump and I'd encourage all honourable and right honourable members across the House to contact the American ambassador, and make him aware of the strength of feeling on this subject in this House and across the country."

SNP MP Brendan O'Hara, who represents Argyll and Bute, said he was in no doubt the tariffs will have a "hugely negative" impact on one of Scotland's most important and growing industries.

He added: "The Scotch whisky industry employs 11,000 people directly so I encourage UK ministers to do everything they can to resolve this as quickly as possible because it is in no-one's interests to have a trade war like this, one where everybody will almost inevitably end up on the losing side while jobs, confidence and future investment will be all affected."

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Brendan O'Hara

Mr Burns replied: "A trade war would be in no-one's interests, there would be no winners in a trade war.

"The thing that agitates and upsets us most about this is it is those who have done absolutely nothing in the Airbus-Boeing dispute... who will now be hurt and harmed if these tariffs were to come into place."

The minister also said: "The tariffs are not in place, they have got 10 days as my right honourable friend said. We would urge the United States to think again.

"These tariffs are in no-one's interest. The President of the United States prides himself on being the champion of the little guy and the little business.

"Well, it's the little guy and the little business who will be harmed most directly if these tariffs come into play."

For Labour, shadow international trade secretary Barry Gardiner said: "The impact of these tariff measures on our biggest markets, particularly for products like Scotch Whisky, is enormous and no amount of new trade agreements overseas could mitigate that imminent threat."

Conservative Douglas Ross said his Moray constituency will be "severely affected" by the US announcements due to its whisky and biscuit manufacturers.

He added: "A zero tariff on bourbon and American whisky when we leave the European Union would send the strongest possible message to the US that the UK is on their side and they should take away these tariffs."