U.S. President Joe Biden signed into law Monday the “Ukraine Democracy Defense Lend-Lease Act of 2022.”
The act authorizes the administration, through fiscal year 2023, to lend or lease military equipment to Ukraine and other Eastern European countries. The act would exempt the administration from certain provisions of law that govern the loan or lease of military equipment to foreign countries, such as the five-year limit on the duration of the loan or the requirement that receiving countries pay all costs incurred by the United States in leasing the defense equipment.
Any loan or lease of military equipment to Ukraine would still be subject to all applicable laws concerning the return of such equipment.
Under current law, payments received under leasing agreements with foreign countries are deposited in the Treasury Department as miscellaneous receipts and are classified as direct spending.
This act could increase amounts deposited in the treasury if the administration lends or leases equipment that it otherwise would not have provided under current law.
Conversely, those deposits would decrease if the administration lends or leases equipment at a reduced cost under the act relative to amounts it otherwise would have charged under its existing authorities.
Lend-lease has been used before, during World War II.
At that time, total of $50.1 billion, equivalent to $690 billion in 2020, worth of supplies were shipped. In all, $31.4 billion went to the United Kingdom, $3.2 billion to France, $1.6 billion to China, $11.3 billion to the Soviet Union and the remaining $2.6 billion to other allies.
Source: U.S. Department of Defense (DoD); Photo © DoD: A contractor assigned to Army Field Support Battalion-Mannheim, 405th Army Field Support Brigade, guides a bridge transporter carrying a bridge erection boat and boat cradle in Radom, Poland, April 28, 2022)