US president Donald Trump’s “vindictive” approach to trade is impacting hundreds of Scottish companies, the SNP have said.

MSP Gail Ross hit out after the Scottish Parliament Information Centre (Spice) identified 600 firms that had been hit by trade tariffs imposed by the US in the autumn.

Scotch whisky producers, as well as companies making cheese, shortbread, wool and cashmere, were among those affected.

Ross, MSP for Caithness, Sutherland and Ross, said: “Hundreds of Scottish exporters have been hit by US tariffs, with the US taking an unpredictable, vindictive approach to trade negotiations.

“It beggars belief that the Tories want to rip up our trading relationship with Europe so they can cosy up to Donald Trump. They should be careful what they wish for.

“Scottish producers are the subject of international admiration but Brexit poses an enormous threat to our exporters.

Scotland must not be dragged into this race-to-the-bottom trade deal – cut adrift from our international allies against the wishes of the Scottish people.”

The 25% tariffs came into effect in October and were approved amid a dispute with the EU over aircraft subsidies.

The World Trade Organisation gave the US the green light to impose tariffs on up to $7.5 billion (£6.1bn) of goods from the European Union as retaliation for illegal subsidies the bloc gave to plane-maker Airbus.

It cleared the way for Trump and his administration to impose counter-measures on the 28-member bloc and followed a WTO ruling in May 2018 on the Airbus subsidies.

The National: Gail Ross, MSP for Caithness, Sutherland and RossGail Ross, MSP for Caithness, Sutherland and Ross

READ MORE: Donald Trump's tariffs taking toll on Scotland, Trade Minister warns

In October, the Scotch Whisky Association called on both parties in the argument to de-escalate their trade dispute.

Association chief executive Karen Betts said: “This is a blow to the Scotch whisky industry.

“Despite the fact that this dispute is about aircraft subsidies, our sector has been hit hard, with single malt Scotch whisky representing over half of the total value of UK products on the US government tariff list.

“The tariff will undoubtedly damage the Scotch whisky sector.

“We expect to see a negative impact on investment and job creation in Scotland, and longer-term impacts on productivity and growth across the industry and our supply chain.

“We believe the tariff will also have a cumulative impact on consumer choice.” The Trump administration also announced plans to impose tariffs on EU cheeses and olives, as well as aircraft and aircraft parts.

The Scotch whisky industry directly employs about 11,000 people in Scotland, and many more indirectly through its supply chain.

More than 7000 of the jobs are in rural areas across the country.

America is the industry’s single biggest export market – with more than £1bn of the spirit exported last year.

Boris Johnson’s Government is expected to start the second part of the Brexit negotiations with the EU in February to determine the future trade relationship with the bloc.

He has set a deadline by the end of next year for a deal.

Brexiteers regard a trade deal with the US as a key prize for leaving the EU.

Yet there are fears it will lead to lower food and consumer standards and a diminishing of workers’ rights as the UK moves to a closer economic relationship with the US.