gave the president the authority to aid any nation whose defense he believed vital to the United States and to accept repayment “in kind or property, or any other direct or indirect benefit which the President deems satisfactory.” The principal recipients of aid during World War II were the British Commonwealth countries (about 63 percent) and the Soviet Union (about 22 percent), though by the end of the war more than 40 nations had received lend-lease help. Much of the aid, valued at $49.1 billion, amounted to outright gifts. Some of the cost of the lend-lease program was offset by so-called reverse lend-lease, under which Allied nations gave U.S. troops stationed abroad about $8 billion worth of aid. The Lend-Lease Act expired by its own terms following the end of World War II.
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