By Laura Barron-Lopez - 02/10/14 01:31 PM EST
Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper says building the Keystone XL pipeline is "inevitable" as the history and economics of a U.S.-Canadian relationship outlast a presidency.
In an interview with Bloomberg News, Harper said economic forces determine whether projects like Keystone go through, not fleeting political calculations.
Harper will get a chance to talk about the controversial TransCanada project with President Obama on Feb. 19, during a meeting that will also include Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto.
Lawmakers advocating for the $5.4 billion project have put some weight on the meeting, saying it may push Obama to set a hard timeline for making a decision.
Sen. John Hoeven (R-N.D.) is hoping the meeting will speed along a decision from the administration, which is currently conducting its national interest review of the pipeline.
But Harper doesn't seem worried.
“It takes a lot of energy to repress and to block a decision that is clearly and overwhelmingly in the national interest of the country,” he said.