LONDON (AP) — President Barack Obama says Chrysler's repayment of the government loans that helped it emerge from bankruptcy is a "significant milestone" for the auto industry.
Chrysler took $10.5 billion from the U.S. government to survive two years ago. On Tuesday, it will retire a $5.9 billion balance on the U.S. loans and $1.6 billion to the governments of Canada and Ontario.
Obama said the announcement comes six years ahead of schedule. Obama, in London as part of a week-long European tour, made his comments in a statement delivered by White House press secretary Jay Carney.
Obama was criticized by Republicans for making the loans. In his statement Obama said he was not willing to walk away from Chrysler workers or the communities that rely on the auto company's wellbeing.