Trent, 22, has become an integral part of Liverpool's squad and is widely considered as one of the best right-backs in the world.
Meanwhile, 20-year-old James has established himself at Chelsea under Frank Lampard's tenure and was called up for England last month by manager Gareth Southgate.
Former Liverpool man Johnson believes that the Chelsea starlet is "quicker" and "stronger" than Trent.
When he was asked who was England's best right-back option, the 36-year-old former defender told Compare.bet: "I would say, overall, it's a toss-up between Trent and Reece James.
"It depends on who you're playing against of course, but I think Reece James is a better defender. I think he's quicker, stronger.
"Trent is great on the ball, he's a great footballer and he's very smart and a lot wiser than his age suggests.
"But in international football, you get a lot more time on the ball, so I think Trent would be number one, but Reece would be a fantastic back-up."
Southgate's Three Lions will face the Republic of Ireland on Thursday in a friendly match at Wembley.
And then England will continue on their Nations League campaign on Sunday against Belgium before facing Iceland on 18th November.
Johnson also revealed that he supported Southgate's decision to start with Chelsea midfielder Mason Mount ahead of Aston Villa star Jack Grealish.
The former England international explained: "At the moment, I think he's probably getting it right picking Mount.
"But look, in terms of what Grealish can do, of course, we've seen him in fantastic form, but it's a difficult one.
"With Grealish, he's Villa's main man and loves being the main man, but when he goes to the England camp he's not the main man.
"So, he's got to adapt the way he plays and when he learns to do that, then I think he'll certainly climb the ladder in Southgate's pecking order."
Featured Image Credit: PA
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