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Enacted by Congress in 1941 the Lend-Lease Act empowered the president to sell, transfer, lend, or lease war supplies—such as equipment, food, and weapons—to American allies during World War II. In exchange for the valuable assistance provided under the Lend-Lease Act (55 Stat. 31 ), the Allies were to comply with the terms set by the president for repayment. The Office of Lend-Lease Administration was created pursuant to the act to oversee the implementation of the program, but this function was later transferred to the State Department.
Although the Lend-Lease Act was enacted to provide aid to China and the British Empire, eligibility under its provisions was expanded to include all Allies who were essential to the maintenance of the security of the United States. Subsequent reciprocal agreements with countries where American troops were stationed provided that the troops would receive comparable aid while stationed there.
President harry truman ended the lend-lease program in 1945.