The Lend-Lease bill became law on 11 March 1941. It remained in effect until August 1945, when President Harry Truman canceled the bulk of the program after the Japanese surrender, a decision that vexed the British government given its perilous economic condition and angered the Soviets, who had also relied heavily upon Lend-Lease aid.
Any firm dollar amount of the value of Lend-Lease aid is somewhat speculative, but during its lifetime the program is thought to have provided at least $50 billion in aid. About half of this amount was in the form of munitions, 22 percent in industrial goods, 13 percent in agricultural products, 5 percent in oil, and the remainder in services rendered (for example, the rental, maintenance, and repair of shipping). Lend-Lease aid reached its peak in 1944, when the United States delivered $15.1 billion in goods and services, or about 17 percent of the nation's entire war expenditures for that year. More than $30 billion in Lend-Lease aid went to the United Kingdom, with the Soviet Union receiving $11 billion, France $2.3 billion, and China $1.3 billion. The supply pipeline was not all one-way, however. The United States received $7.3 billion from the British and French, mostly in the form of technology transfers and raw materials.
The terms of Lend-Lease repayment were left to the discretion of the president, and Roosevelt had spoken only of a vague "gentlemen's agreement," with no firm conditions laid down. In December 1945 the United Kingdom reached a settlement with the United States to pay off $532 million in Lend-Lease obligations. The British government paid off the remainder of its Lend-Lease debt on 29 December 2006. Several billion dollars were supposed to be repaid by the Soviets at the end of hostilities, but the onset of the Cold War halted negotiations, and it was only in June 1990, under much different circumstances, that the United States and the USSR finally negotiated a settlement.
Kimball, Warren F. The Most Unsordid Act: Lend-Lease, 1939–1941. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1969.; Office of the President. Twenty-Second Report to Congress on Lend-Lease Operations for the Period Ended December 31, 1945. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1946.