MEXICO CITY (AP) _ The government criticized a U.S. House vote Thursday that slows Mexico's anti-drug certification, charging the action sends ``the wrong signal'' and benefits drug traffickers.

The vote sets a series of conditions for Mexico to improve its anti-narcotics efforts or face decertification at the end of a 90-day period.

``The resolution is an attack on international cooperation in the fight against drugs and benefits our common enemy, drug trafficking,'' according to the Foreign Ministry statement.

The ministry also repeated an earlier pledge ``to act with all necessary energy'' should sanctions be imposed against Mexico.

The Mexican government has not said what specific steps it would take against any possible sanctions.

Mexican church, business and political leaders called the decision harmful both to political and business ties.

Cardinal Juan Sandoval Iniguez said ``no-one has named the U.S. to be a moral judge of other peoples.''

He said Mexico should not concede to the U.S. conditions, which include capturing more drug cartel leaders, allowing more U.S. anti-drug agents into Mexico and giving them wider powers.

Opposition-party Senator Heberto Castillo called those conditions ``a political intervention of one country in another's affairs.''

Jose Vallez Luevanos, a business leader in the northern city of Monterrey, said the U.S. decision might eventually affect financial markets and the economies of both countries.

``This could create a climate of declining confidence among foreign investors,'' he said.