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Georgia-Pacific announced Tuesday it's laying off more than 650 workers in Arkansas as it shuts down part of a mill in Crossett and another facility in Hope.

The Atlanta-based company said it's shutting down the bleached board operations at its facility in Crossett, Arkansas, in October. Approximately 530 jobs will be affected by the closure and another 25 business and sales jobs will be affected by the decision.

"Our Crossett employees have worked hard to safely and productively manage our operations there, and in recent years we have invested significantly in our operations. However, we have decided that the required investments needed for the bleached board machines, pulp mill and woodyard to sustain the operation long-term are not economically viable," said Monty Brown, senior vice president for consumer products group operations.

The company said it will continue to operate the Crossett mill to support its consumer tissue and towel business, and will retain approximately 500 employees to manage those operations.

Georgia-Pacific also said it would close particleboard facilities in Hope, located 105 miles southwest of Little Rock, and in Monroeville, Alabama over the next couple months. The company said it also wouldn't rebuild a Thomson, Georgia facility that experienced a catastrophic fire last week. Approximately 100 employees at each facility would be affected by the closures.

 

Uber's tax returns under IRS review

Less than a month since its disappointing stock market debut, Uber said Tuesday that the IRS is reviewing its 2013 and 2014 taxes.

In a filing with regulators, the world's leading ride-hailing company said it expects its gross amount of tax benefits to be reduced by at least $141 million in the next 12 months. Uber said it had a $1.3 billion increase in its gross unrecognized tax benefits in the first quarter.

Uber said its taxes for the years 2010 to 2019 were also "open" for further review in other countries where it does business, including Brazil, the United Kingdom, Australia and India.

The San Francisco-based company has yet to turn a profit and reported more than $1 billion in losses in its first quarter as a public company, despite a 20% jump in revenue. Uber's revenue last year surged 42% to $11.3 billion, but the company admits it could be years before it turns a profit.

That doesn't seem to be bothering big investors or brokers. Fifteen out of 19 analysts on FactSet rate the stock a buy or the equivalent, with target prices mostly in the mid-$50 range. Shares debuted on May 10 at $45 and fell about 7% that day. They've mostly hovered in the low $40 range since.

 

Trump wants easier mining

The Trump administration wants to ease rules on mining and prospecting on federal lands — and even offshore — in the name of national security.

The Commerce Department recommended sweeping changes Tuesday in mining policies. President Donald Trump had asked for the proposals, saying the U.S. needs more mining to reduce imports of critical minerals. Those are nearly three dozen minerals, including uranium, that the administration calls crucial to national security.

The proposals come as some fear that trade tensions with China that could hit U.S. imports of key minerals.

Recommendations include easing permitting, stepping up consideration of mining in the oceans, and prioritizing national security when it comes to mining public lands.

House Natural Resources Chairman Raul Grijalva says the administration is handing over "treasured places" to industry.

 

World Bank cuts economic forecast

The World Bank is downgrading its forecast for the global economy in light of trade conflicts, financial strains and unexpectedly sharp slowdowns in wealthier countries.

The bank, an anti-poverty agency, expects the world economy to grow 2.6% this year. That would be the slowest calendar-year growth since 2016, and it is down from the 2.9% expansion the agency forecast in January.

The World Bank downgraded every major region, though it kept its 2019 forecast for U.S. growth at 2.5%. In the 19 countries that use the euro currency, growth is forecast to slow to 1.2%, down from 1.8% last year and the 1.6% the World Bank expected in January.

Slowed by the Trump administration's trade war with China, global trade is expected to expand just 2.6% this year.

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